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Old 06-12-2006, 09:04 PM   #81
littlemanpoet
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Anakron's mouth spread in a slow grin.

"You have no idea what I am," he said. "Your anger is refreshing. Almost it makes me want to make you my abbettor in ill doings. But no. Your pride is hurt, that is all. You are right-" At this, Panakeia looked up hopefully, for perhaps she had gotten through to him? "-right that you are wasting your time on me. Go to Ithilien while you still can. Leave Mordor before the gate is closed."

With that, he turned from her and followed the way the orc had run.

He cared not what she said to him. Not at all. She had become a gnat, a fly the buzz of which was a mere nuisance. Better to slap her out of existence. No. He did not fool himself. He wanted no harm to come to her, for she was not the cause of any of the evil in him or around him. She did not deserve-" he stopped his thoughts cold, for such thoughts threatened to soften his heart, and he could not afford that. Better to concentrate on what new false religion to engender, and how to make it violent.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:59 PM   #82
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"You're sure that's Roggie's warlordess, eh?" Maika remarked breathlessly. Then she swooned a bit and fell slowly, hoping someone - even Dracomir, who was still mesmerized by the Skittles's flying kiss - would catch her ere she hit the floor. No such luck. But touching the ground was a relief; the awful movement of the Mountain left her carsick. Had it been just minutes ago? It seemed hours to her. Moving on (and how), she glanced back at those events in distant memory...

"Wha-a-at i-i-is go-o-i-ing o-o-n?!" Lola had blurted out in fearful surprise. Maika could only grin in spite of her own rocking self.

"I-i-i ha-a-ave no-o-o i-i-ide-e-a-a. Ma-a-y-y-b-e-e," this is getting tiresome, and their voices did not really shake like that, anyway, "we should go back to the room. We'll be safer there, in case this is an earthquake."

Of course Lola should have known better than to believe her, but Maika had ingeniously taken advantage of her initial surprise to let the witch of a girl do what she wanted her to do. Quickly regaining her "I'm in charge" look, Lola turned around and walked briskly; Maika followed behind her. She felt a bit dizzy after a while and realized that they were against the direction of the mountain's movement. Before long the movement had stopped and they were back in the hallway towards the room, but how they got there Maika did not know because she was too busy trying to keep herself from throwing up. And that was when she heard Dracomir's voice and her own gasped reply and the rest became yellow polka dots...

"Uhh...now what?" Igör said.

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Old 06-13-2006, 09:47 AM   #83
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"Surf's up!" Skittles cried, hitting the beach. Not literally, of course, as she held no particular animosity for the beach. She hit it at a run and skipped along the hot sand, kicking off her flip-flops and dropping her iPod as she went.

Being generally a nuisance wherever she went, Skittles rather predictably disturbed her fellow beach bums. She scattered sand onto beach blankets and startled topless sunbathers. She knocked over sandcastles and stole candy from babies. She kicked beach balls into the water and interfered in a volleyball game. Chaos was King and Skittles his Queen.

Eventually, all the ruckus awoke Psamothos Psamathides, who was napping nearby in the sand, and he rose from the sand (naturally) to see what all the ruckus was about (naturally). But by that time, Skittles had abandoned the beach with a cry of, "Cowabunga!" and ran into the water with her surfboard. Psamothos Psamathides looked around and saw the havoc she had wreaked, but could not ascertain to whom the wreakage could be attributed. This made him very grumpy. Very grumpy indeed.

Now, insert various surfer slang and jargon into this section and you will know pretty much how Skittles spent the next vaguely stated period of time.
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:13 AM   #84
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"Who put that there?" cried Psamothos Psamathides, "a mountain, on my beach? I'll soon sort this out. You up there!" He had spotted Smilog hanging out of a window by his head as Roggie threatened to drop him after his blueprints had got them lost, found, lost again, almost dropped into lava and now back where they had started.

"Help!" cried Smilog, "I can't fly!" He struggled as Roggie blurted out the most awful language Psamothos had ever heard in his life. That was the last straw! He got up out of the sand and started jumping around on his little rabbit feet, his pointy ears going red to the tip and his long nose blowing sand everywhere.

"Is that you, Roggie?" cried the sand sorcerer, "I'd recognise that anger anywhere. Pot and Jam him. Let that poor fellow go this instant, or I'll have your wings for breakfast!"

"But I don't have-" began Roggie, before he turned and fled with screams and shouts of "that sand man again! He's come for me!" while Smilog tumbled down the Mountain, but landed neatly in a large pile of sand that Psamothos had put there. But it didn't break his fall as much as he would have liked and he crawled out with his arm feeling like it had been hit with... well... a mountain. The Sand sorcerer picked Smilog up by his beard and stared at him for a moment.

"Is this your mountain?" he asked accusingly, "If it is..."

"No, not at all, mr... erm..." stuttered the Dwarf, trying not to rip his beard.

"Psamothos Psamathides!" he said, emphasising the 'P's very distinctly. "And you'd better not forget it! Who was that mad woman who went destroying my beach? A friend of yours?"

"Well, no, not really," squirmed Smilog as Psamothos put him down again, "she's this Roggie's affair, I believe."

"So, Roggies having an affair?" said Psamothos, not paying any real attention to the dwarf, "well, come on, we'd better go and find him. He'll be curled up in a corner if I know him." And with that, the old sand sorcerer leaped up the mountain quite quickly, with Smilog tucked under his arm and bounded in through the window, much to the surprise of Tollin who stood near by.

Roggie was hidden behind a corner and was panting heavily, old Psamothos Psamathides walked briskly up to him and took him by the ear. "You owe me, Balrog," he cried in a deep and threatening voice, "You owe me five hundred gold coins!" So this was why he was so afraid of sand.
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Old 06-13-2006, 04:25 PM   #85
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Panakeia watched Anakron's robes flutter down the hall. She was fuming. She had no idea what Anakron was? Panakeia thought she did. He was a pouting child, determined to wreak havoc and let slip the dogs of war on an unsuspecting world merely because...she didn't know why. If this wasn't a reaction to her earlier (admittedly bad) behavior, she didn't know what else it could be, unless Mount Doom really did retain some of its prior evil. That thought had not occurred to Panakeia. Womb of the Ring. Anakron was right, though Panakeia would have preferred the word tomb. The Ring was dead. Sauron was gone. And yet, she supposed it was possible that some of their evil lived still. Perhaps that, coupled with irritation with her, was why Anakron now behaved so badly.

Stop trying to figure him out.
The reason behind Anakron's sudden change in character did not matter. What mattered was that a man in control of a powerful force was now behaving in a most out-of-control fashion. Panakeia had to stop him. It was her duty, not only because she cared about Anakron, but also because the planet was in danger of annihilation. Panakeia's thoughts hiccupped. Planet? What an odd word. She'd heard someone use it before. But who? She shrugged to herself.

Anakron's robes floated around a corner. He was leaving. No! He can't get away! The thought, urgent and frantic, screamed in her mind's ear. She had to stop him. She had to bring him to his senses, or at least pose a roadblock to his more malevolent behaviors. Yes. That was what she would do. Anakron had given her back her conscience. He now seemed to have lost his own. Panakeia couldn't convey the Dweomer and give it back to him, but she could serve in its stead until he found it himself. She chuckled grimly. Anakron would know what she had gone through when her own conscience took form and spoke to her. Only this time, Anakron's replacement nagging conscience would have both physical and mental form. Panakeia.

She was off in a flash. Racing down the hall, she caught up to Anakron and tapped him on the shoulder, a stubborn glint in her eye.

"Excuse me. You seem to have lost something."

Anakron looked her over, contempt in his expression. "Lost something?" he mocked. "You could not possibly refer to yourself, could you? I have the distinct impression I decided to be rid of you quite intentionally. No accident or mistake was involved."

Panakeia gritted her teeth. Anakron was going out of his way to hurt her. But she had a mission. Personal feelings were irrelevant.

"Not me. Yourself. Your conscience. You said I could leave. Well, I might. I'll admit the thought had occurred to me. But not yet. You see, Anakron, you gave me back my conscience. Now that you appear to have lost your own, I thought I'd repay the favor by being your conscience for you. At least until you come to your senses. After that...after that, we'll see. And you said it was only my pride speaking when I tried to help you. I won't reply to that. But whether I'm acting out of pride or love doesn't matter. It's your well-being that's at stake."

She stopped, more determined about this than anything in her life, past, present, or future. Yes, this was her mission. Of that she was certain.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:13 PM   #86
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Anakron closed his eyes in sudden weariness. She was doing the best he could have imagined from her. In any other circumstance, he would be basking in her glow, but she did not understand. He opened his tired eyes - for his thought had taken but a moment - and looked into her determined ones. He sighed.

"You don't understand, Panakeia. In all the malevolence I employ, I still have the will not to hurt you save with words ... for now; while I still have enough control. Don't you see? I am evil!" He began to pace and gesticulate.

"Anakron is evil, intended for evil! The Blue Istari intended the entire set-up for evil! So far I have been able to partly thwart their purpose because there was enough of Elempi still within." He thumped his chest. "But he's dying! He can't withstand the Dweomer! I'm getting more evil every day, and I can't-" he closed his eyes with the anguish "-I can't fight it anymore! Do you understand?"

Her eyes were wide and her lips still. She was getting it. He hoped that she believed him.

"That is why you must leave. I don't know how long it will be before I can no longer hold myself back from harming you. And if you pursue your present course of harassment, I fear it will be the sooner. Leave me! For your own sake! Can you not see that I am doomed!"
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:14 AM   #87
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Panakeia's eyes went wide with pity. Poor Anakron. He truly had lost himself. He wasn't evil - not really. She had to help him. It was her duty. Her mission.

"Evil? No, don't say it! Don't think it! You aren't intended for evil. No one is supposed to be evil. And you don't need to turn to darkness. You won't, if you won't let it. I won't let it!" A light like a fiercely burning wildfire came into Panakeia's face. Nothing could stop her efforts. This was her destiny. To save Anakron from himself. For her? She could have been saving him for her own sake, but there was more to it than that. More to it even than saving him for his sake. This was bigger than both of them. Her mission came from - could it be? - her Captain.

Yes! That had to be it. Panakeia would have come to Anakron's aid in any case. She cared about him. But now she held the certainty that she had to push on, not only for their own reasons, but because the Captain wanted her to do so. And the Captain's word was law. And so Panakeia approached her task with all the passion of both a woman in love and of fanatic belief.

"You say that you fear you'll harm me. That's good! Don't you see? It means that you aren't evil. If you were, you wouldn't care. And since I seem to be the only thing you do care about, I can't leave you! I'm the only thing standing between you and your dark side. I won't abandon you to it. No matter what the cost to me. Because it's worth it. Not just for us, but because this, Anakron, is what I'm supposed to do. What I'm destined to do. I know it!"

The light flashed over her features again. For an instant, she thought Anakron raised a single eyebrow. Maybe he did. Maybe he was scowling with both brows and she mistakenly thought one had a greater displacement. Maybe his face was blank and Panakeia, swept up in her visions of glory, only imagined it. But whatever, the case, she thought she saw one eyebrow move. It was a sign. Anakron understood. Or if he didn't he soon would. The brow of Spockú had twitched.

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Old 06-14-2006, 09:13 AM   #88
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"Odds my bodkins, you two do go on."

Panakeia and Anakron both came up short and turned towards the sound of the voice which interrupted their dramatic interlude. Skittles stood behind them in the hallway, damp and sandy, with her surfboard under one arm.

Anakron sneered. "You have something to say, half-wit?"

"I just said it. You've been blocking the hallway for half an hour standing there whinging on about how evil you are. You've got Sylvester the Cat on your staff, for Looney Tunes' sake."

Anakron advanced upon her slowly. "You do not fear me, madwoman?"

"Pah. I fear poodles more than you." Skittles turned and addressed an imaginary camera; "Seriously, those things are terrifying."

"Skittles," said Panakeia impatiently, "We're busy."

"I'm not. I've been waiting around for you to clock the lout, and I'm getting kind of bored. So much for hell hathing no fury," she rolled her eyes. "Why don't you just slap him or give him a good kick in the gonads?"

"We are discussing matters you could not comprehend," said Anakron imperiously. "Begone, mindless child!"

Skittles began to dance an Irish jig. This gave her audience some pause, but Anakron was not amused. He raised his staff, a fey look in his eyes (well, feyer), and said, "Konvey!"

"Konvey what?" Skittles chirped. Then she waved her hand up and down in front of his face, making an odd, Curliesque noise, before poking him in the eyes with two fingers.

"Aaarggh!" Anakron fell back, clutching at his eyes in pain.

Skittles laughed merrily. "Who's the big evil Anakronist Konveyor now?"

"Oh no! Oh no! Oh no, no, no!" cried Panakeia. "Now you've done it!"

Anakron straightened with a cry of rage. Well, it was really more of a yodel of rage, strangely enough. He turned a pair of bloodshot eyes upon Skittles and something inside him snapped. Again. Apparently, there were a number of somethings inside him hanging together on wispy threads, waiting to snap. "Fool!" He lifted his staff and brought it down full force upon Skittles' head.

She fell to the floor in an explosion of sparks. "Hello, I am Elmer J. Fudd, I own a mansion and a yacht," she said, lying facedown on the floor. "Hello, I am Elmer J. Fudd, I own a mansion and yacht," she repeated. And again. With each repetition, her voice got lower and her speech slowed, slurring, till finally she dribbled off, "Iiiiiii ammmmm Elmeeerrrrrrrrrr...."

Anakron laughed in maniacal fashion.

Panakeia gasped, covering her mouth. "You've killed her!" she said, shocked.

Anakron continued to laugh in a maniacal fashion.

Panakeia bent over the inert, bikini-clad form of Skittles and reached out hesitantly to feel for a pulse. She could find none, and Skittles hand flopped down lifelessly when she released her wrist. She choked back a sob, horrified at what Anakron had done, and tried to turn the body over. "Oh, foolish girl... foolish... uh...." She stopped, blinking in confusion. Where Skittles forehead should have been was a large hole with mangled wires, switches, and diodes. Panakeia gasped (she does that rather a lot) and recoiled. "Why, she's a robot!"

Anakron continued to continue laughing in a continuous fashion, rather maniacally.

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Old 06-14-2006, 09:25 AM   #89
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Not content with being mean, evil and a walking inferno, thought Smilog, it turns out that Roggie is also a stingy moneygrubber.

Psamothos was grilling the Balrog verbally and Roggie merely sat on the floor moping and mumbling. All the while Tollin and Smilog walked off to see if they could find the way up to the Crack of Doom and try and get the Mountain Back to Mordor. "What shall we do about Roggie?" asked Tollin.

"Him?" Smilog cried with a laugh, "bother him! Or, rather, don't bother him! Lets leave him to his... erm... sandy fate. Its more than he deserves." The dwarf produced an apple from his pack and began eating it with loud deliberate noises. "I've worked for him for so long," continued the Dwarf, "and all he remembers was the one time I passed him the salt."

There was the sound of a large explosion from down the corridor behind them, and Tollin dashed back to see what it was. Smilog groaned and followed on, throwing his apple out of the window. Unfortunately, the apple sailed down and hit a beach bather on the head. The man got up and began to shake with fury, turning purest red in the face and his arms bulging like a squeezed tube of toothpaste with the lid still on. "I will destroy whoever did this!" he cried, shaking his fist and throwing the apple into the sea. The apple then hit a shark on the head and bounced off a surfboard before being thrown by a great wave back into the mountain.

Roggie lay on the floor holding his left knee and saying "Aaaagghh!" over and over again. Psamothos was in front of him, holding a bag of gold and looking rather disturbed. Smilog and Tollin walked over and saw that there was a great hole in the corridor and much of the carpet had been burned.

"Did you see that?" asked Psamothos, with a worried face, "it looked like... Well... you know... Him!"

"Who?" asked Smilog, before the apple hit him on the back of the head; he threw it out of the window again.

"Well, like Gandalf," Psamothos said, "only... fatter. And clothed in robes as red as blood. He ploughed through the wall, laughing like a maniac, threw a bag of gold at me and then went off though the other side of the wall." Roggie was trying to crawl away, but Psamothos put his foot on the Balrog's left leg. "Very odd indeed. Well Roggie, you'd better pay up."

At that moment, the whole ground began to shake once more, not as violently as the first time, but still quite horridly. Smilog dashed to the window only to see a few fires breaking out all over the beach, (incidentally, a long series of events caused by Smilog throwing out the apple; one clown was hit on the head by it and ended up throwing a cigarette at a donkey who threw off his rider into a pile of manure, the rider then threw the manure at the donkey, missed and hit a fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher had then fallen down and rolled to a barbeque and knocked it into a man who ran screaming into a tent).

The Mountain began to shudder some more, and the now sand covered wheels slowly rotated, letting the sand fall off. Tollin watched as Psamothos stole Roggie's money and then leaped out of the Mountain with a "Wooop!" and was lost in the hurricane of sand that was blowing around. Smilog turned this way and that before finally seeing a concealed doorway being forced open by the shaking. It hid some stairs and so he quickly grabbed Tollin and indicated that they should go that way.

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Old 06-14-2006, 02:15 PM   #90
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"She should die," Anakron said. "It's a shame it was just a robot."

"Anakron! What a terrible thing to say!" Panakeia cried.

"You'd say the same thing if ridiculous words were put in your mouth and you were treated-" Anakron became articulate for a moment, gnashing his teeth, wiping at his eyes, looking for blood and not finding any.

Panakeia was the only thing keeping him from lashing out. He dearly wanted to lash out.

"I'm going to find her! And kill her." He hurried off in the general direction of deeper into the Mountain.

Panakeia allowed herself a moan and a roll of her eyes and followed.

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Old 06-14-2006, 03:25 PM   #91
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Alli stood for merely a moment before spotting Anakron's disinclination to address her question. She looked down the side of the mountain and gasped, seeing what looked distressingly like the Gondorian Ambassadors under her protection and supposedly under house arrest. She left Anakron at a run.

She found the chambers of the Gondorians disconcertingly empty with a single guard wandering vaguely around muttering about "them." Cursing Roggie's guards and resolving to trust nobody but her own recruits from now on, Alli made her way to a secret chamber at ground level, pulling keys from her pocket as she went.

No, no, no! Somebody is going to get hurt...

Alli jammed a key into the ignition of a quad, mounting it's leatheresque seat with practiced ease, and flicked it on, squeezing the gas. With no hesitation, she barreled in a most dangerous fashion through the dizzily turn-filled bowels of the mountain until she found an exit. She braked quickly, spotting the ground zooming away from the hoisted mountain. Steeling herself, Alli put the four-wheeler in reverse just long enough to give herself a running start. She took a deep breath and revved the engine, speeding from zero to thirty-seven in a few short seconds and shooting, air-borne, from an exit of the mountain in a way James Bond would find impressive.

Ignoring the mountain steadily making its way away from her, Alli headed in concern toward the Gondorians. Her ambassadors... the Mordorians... they knew their way around. They would remember their mission: to calm Roggie into renewing negotiations. They would remember, eventually, that they had a purpose: to calm their king in a diplomatic fashion. They would find Roggie and they would convince him to sit down and talk. And they would work together as a group in such a way befitting politicians, which meant to say that yes, they would find him, sit him down, and they would all, as a group, talk. And talk, and talk, and talk, and maybe, hidden within all of the talk, they would possibly hit upon something important. But no matter what, Alli had faith that her Mordorian ambassadors, crazy though they were, would get something done.

She had faith that Smilog would develop some sort of allegiance to his king and would work for him rather than against him. She shook her head, uncertain that her faith was warranted, but hoped that he would remember that he was an official, chosen for an official job, and that job meant that he needed to be able to work with Roggie.

Alli had faith as she rode that Maika would keep being Maika, that Igör would continue to be her loyal spy and would help to smooth tensions, that Skittles would... well... Alli had little faith in Skittles. A quiet bleating voice in her ear whispered to Alli that Skittles had just been made chief war advisor. Alli very seriously and very suddenly had a strong urge to turn her quad around, but Mount Zoom Palace, Casino, and Motorvehicle was growing farther away by the second.

Anakron... Alli considered Anakron as she drew closer to the Gondorians. He had never ignored her before. Spoken harshly to her... told her to stop crying and get a move on... glared austerely as she drunkenly danced with Aime upon table tops to celebrate the slaying of Mario... but he had never ignored her or looked so gleeful to witness chaos as he had just then. Alli hoped that Panakeia could exude some sort of positive influence.

Lola... Alli gasped as she considered Lola, feeling gravel pull her quad in directions purely unintentional. She leaned all of her weight to the left, trying to keep from eating dirt after a badly balanced landing from a bit of an accidental jump.

Alli had total faith in Lola's abilities. She knew that if the bombshell couldn't accomplish something, she would know when to enlist the aid of Ms. Martinet. Ms. Martinet could inflict order while Alli was gone.

The Gondorians though... They were stranded in Mordor. They were technically political prisoners until Roggie changed his mind. Escaped prisoners... the only time that Mordorians would help their king was if it meant making others miserable. Alli had to get the Gondorians back to Mount Zoom before Roggie found his prisoners missing. And she had to keep them from becoming Mordorians during the process. She groaned as she pulled up beside them, all looking utterly dumbstruck as the black-haired speed-demon kicked up dust as she braked.

"Gondorians, it seems your current home has left without you. Why you were not in it upon its departure I do not care to learn. I'll find out soon enough without your help. However, we must get back to it. First, though, I suspect that your hunger may be nudging your stomachs and the bodies that carry them in the direction of the eateries whose scents have filled the air? I can't guarantee your protection from any other anakronisms, but I can ascertain that eating food here will not harm you. Where would you like to go for midday meal?"

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Old 06-14-2006, 07:57 PM   #92
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In a dank and dark corner of a dungeon, deep in the nethermost regions of Mount Doom, nothing much of interest was happening.

However, in one the residential suites (Anakron's, to be exact) Skittles MacFarlewyn, still leather-clad and still insane, was crouched over the erstwhile Elempi's trunk. She held a canister of itching powder in one hand and giggled with wicked glee as she shook the contents over Anakron's clothing. He owned several different kinds of identical black robes with matching black Spongbob Squarepants underpants, and all were now guaranteed to give him a rash.

"Let's see how evil you are with itching powder in your underwear," she snickered aloud to no one in particular.

Suddenly, a small device disguised as a wristwatch began to give off horrific noises. "Blast!" Skittles cried, dropping the itching powder and flipping the device open to read the display. "Head trauma and skin breakage and snapped wires, oh no!" she said aloud, to no one in particular, through gritted teeth.

She leapt to her feet and kicked the trunk closed, then spoke into her device. "Hot Stuff, this is Taste The Rainbow. Come in, Hot Stuff. I repeat, Hot Stuff, this is Taste The Rainbow. Come in, please." She thwacked the device a couple times and then cursed. "Why does he not answer?!" Dauntlessly, she continued to speak into the pseudo-wristwatch as she hastened stealthily from the suit. "Hot Stuff, if you can hear me, there has been a complication in Operation Drive Anakron To Madness. Automated Skittles has suffered a blunt object to the skull in sector 17 and is now a liability. I am going to retrieve the robot. Do you read me, Hot Stuff? Oh, bother."

She came up short, confronted by an androgynous, yet fierce-looking-in-a-stupid-sort-of-way Orc in the hallway. "What are you doing in his Staffnesses' room?" hissed the Orc.

Skittles kicked him in the gonads, poked him in the eyes, and issued a jugular crushing karate chop to his neck before slitting him from belly to clavicle with a switchblade. Perhaps a bit excessive, but she had a general dislike for Orcs, if you hadn't already noticed.

(Fear not, gentle readers, for this hapless Orc was not the beloved Lugnut, but Lugnut's evil twin, Nuglut.)

She left the scene at a run, hoping to get to the damaged Automaton before it caused too much damage.

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Old 06-15-2006, 02:35 AM   #93
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The shaking was becoming a little more violent as the three travellers in this little escapade climbed the secret stairs. They were metal and suspended over a deep chasm that lead far down into the magma chamber, yet all they could see of it was a red glow down below. The stairs were odd; going this way and that, zigzagging from one side of the chasm to the other, and even spiralling up in places. Roggie lagged behind, desperately looking for his bag of gold and finding nothing but a pocket full of sand and a note from Psamothos saying, "Good riddance."

"This is trebly unsafe," Tollin observed as the stairs began to move from side to side a little too much for his liking. "Are you sure this is the best way to go?"

"No," replied Smilog, scratching his head, "but it’s the only way we've not tried, so lets get to it." They ran up the stairs for a little longer, but soon could hear a rumbling that was louder than ever. It was coming from the wall of the chasm that was nearest to them, Smilog tried to ignore it, but in the end Tollin stopped him from going too far ahead.

With an almighty crash, a hole was blown in the side of the chasm and some of the stair was taken with it. Now they could not get back. Out of the hole came a large, fat, bearded man with a great red cloak, pointed red hat and an obscenely large white staff. The man seemed to glide through the air as he leaped onto the stairs and shook the fragile metal. Roggie and Smilog hid behind the large figure of Tollin as the man puffed and panted and seemed to be having some trouble breathing. "Just a moment," he said with a wheeze, "I'll be all right, just need to get my breath back... there we go." yet he was still breathing heavily.

"Erm... Tollin," said Smilog, "there is something on the back of your head." and indeed there was. It was a small, gnarled creature with large flapping feet, a great big head and large luminous green eyes. It was naked except for a loincloth and a wig on its head. It pulled out its tong and blew a loud raspberry at Smilog and Roggie. Tollin quickly grabbed it by the head and dangled it in front of him.

"Is this yours?" he asked, as the small creature began to dance in mid air and sing a song that contained the word 'Moshom' far more times than anyone was comfortable with. It slipped from his grasp, leaving the wig in Tollin's hand, and slunk away to the fat man's side and began to giggle. Slowly, the Minotaur leant forward and gave the wig back to the creature.

"Thank you," it said with tears in his eyes, "I love you!" it turned around three times before sitting on the floor and chewing on the wig. Roggie rose up and slowly began to walk up the stairs away from this madness, but the fat man bellowed in a loud and commanding voice.

"Silence!" he cried, shaking the halls.

"I didn't say anything," said Roggie, looking back.

"You just did!" came the reply; Roggie couldn't be bothered arguing and continued up the stairs. "You will return here or face the wrath and impending Doom I have awaiting you, Roggie of Morgoth."

"Who on Middle Earth are you?" asked Smilog, scratchign his head, "you look like Gandalf, but if you are, then I have to say you've let yourself go a little."

"Yes, I suppose I have been eating too many biscuits," said the man, "but I am not Gandalf."

"You going to make biscuits?" asked the little creature at his side, "You gonna make biscuits?"

"No, Sollom, I am not," the man rose himself up and placed the creature (apparently called 'Sollom') on his shoulder, "Now, you three, I have some business with you! Especially you, Roggie!"

"You haven’t answered my question," pressed Smilog, gripping his axe.

"I am..." the man took a deep breath, his fat belly shaking more than the Rohirrim seeing a glue factory, "I... AM... SANTAR!"

"What?" laughed Roggie, "That’s the most hilariously bad pun I've ever heard!"

"Silence!" cried Santar, "I have a doom put aside you thee, Roggie of Morgoth!"

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Old 06-15-2006, 06:25 AM   #94
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"Alright, boys and girls."

Lola glided from the midst of the group, left in a daze after Skittles' sudden route outside the mountain, and they turned to her leadership gratefully.

"Obviously," she crooned, "things have not exactly been going to plan, and it's about time all this random silliness got under control." Dracomir looked like he was about to say something, and Lola quelled it quickly with a swish of her skirt and a swift glimpse of black garters.

"We still have to find Roggie, and I'd bet he's in his secret rooms. I don't know what's going on with Anakron or the Mountain, and frankly, I'm happy to remain ignorant: both seem dangerous." At the word dangerous, her eyes gleamed happily beneath their thick lashes.

Quickly she mentally ran through the events of the past few minutes: Skittles was out on the beach, Igor was...confused..., Maika and Dracomir were right here. The increased dangers of the anakronisms surrounding them told her Anakron might have finally snapped, but Panakeia had gone after him, and no one else had a chance of calming him. Lola would probably be turned into a cat on sight. Smilog was off who knows where, but this worried Lola very little. He was easy to write off: without real effort, all Lola could remember of him was that he had once passed the salt to Roggie at a dinner party.

That was all right. Maika and Dracomir were the two Lola looked upon as most useful.

"Come on, let's go!" She turned abruptly around, vamping her way down the hall in the opposite direction from where she had been leading Maika, her sensual gait showing no reaction to the carnage they found on the way. Inwardly, though, her heart sank, her worst fears realized. Anakron had finally lost it.

Two rights, a left, the second tapestry from the first right hand door, counting only those with green handles. She swept it aside, revealing an ornate door, with a message etched firmly into the lintel.

"What does it say," someone behind her asked breathlessly.

"It's in pig latin," Lola answered over her shoulder. "It says: 'Eakspay, iendfray, nday ntereay'"

"So all we have to do is say "friend", and it should open?"

Lola rolled her eyes and stepped back, standing tall and straight before the door. "Of course not. It's been broken for ages." With a fluid motion she took a flying leap towards the door, firmly toned legs and high-heeled shoes kicking firmly at the wood, which splintered in terror just before she struck. Lola landed and rolled to her feet, picking a splinter out of her hair and shaking it out with a wink at Dracomir, once again agog at where her dress had ridden up to.

"Come on, then, let's go," she urged, and the three disappeared into the bowels of the mountain.

~<*>~

A small voice from the splintered door murmured "Thank you" quietly before sputtering out of existence.
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Old 06-15-2006, 06:44 AM   #95
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Much against his more haughty nature, Dracomir found himself, once again, in raptures over the very sound of Lola's voice, and so entirely forgot the ingeniously cunning strategem he had been about to present.

"Obviously," she trilled delightfully, "things have not exactly been going to plan, and it's about time all this random silliness got under control."

How witty! How conspiratorial! How intimate! Ooo! A black garter!

Obviously. Random silliness. Charming as she might be, nobody messed with this woman, it was clear. Such decision of tones! Might she not be encouraged to adorn the Malfoidacil line? She was, perhaps, a little old, but that had not stopped his father Luciamir, Dracomir reflected, who had married the highly unsuitable older woman Narcissowen Black after the 98th Annual Conference of Death Eater/De Sade enthusiasts.

Maybe slightly too much information from them, Tom reflected, particularly as they had insisted in detailing the romantic story of their first encounter from the earliest years of his meta-childhood. But after all, bondage seemed to be the norm here in Middle-earth. After all, nobody seemed to have objected to Thingol and Melian. Dracomir would have paused to dwell upon his astonishment that Elves, who did the cleaning at home, had once ruled Beleriand. But Lola's hair, so artful that it seemed quite artless, tumbled over one of her shoulders, so he did not.

Then she started using karate on the door. Usually Dracomir would have showe off at this point with a quick Alohamora, but he was somewhat otherwise engaged at this point.

Then he recalled vaguely where they were. He checked the Mordorers' Map. Yep, they were about to have an audience with King Roggie of Morgoth. Again. Oh dear. But at this point the Malfoidacil logic kicked back into action.

"Maika," he remarked, "I don't know if that stuff you got from Alli is helping, but if you want to double-check, I happen to have here a stylish, haute monde silver Unblemishability Cloak. Belonged to my grand...mother, y'know. Want to try it on? It's never failed before."

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Old 06-15-2006, 02:42 PM   #96
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"Destined to do?" Anakron spat. "Hound me? Why?"

Panakeia was half walking, half skipping to keep up with him. "Not hound you! It's what I'm here for!"

"Who says?" Panakeia was about to answer when Anakron threw up a hand. Panakeia almost walked into it. "Shh!" They listened. Light steps, unique to stilletos on cement, could be heard coming their way, at a run. "Skittles! Doom and Dweomer! She's more cracked that the legendary Crack of Doom. I don't want to be seen by her. I'd like to keep my eyes in my head. This way!"

Anakron led Panakeia quietly down a dark corridor. They watched Skittles race by, apparently headed for the bleating robot.

Panakeia snickered.

"What?"

"You're actually afraid of her."

"Afraid? Don't tempt me or I may knock your head in too."

She glowered and stuck her chin out. "You wouldn't dare!"

"Skittles would, and worse, without a moments thought, because she doesn't. That's something worth keeping at a respectful distance. Especially with my konveyances working no better than a faulty flash light."

They had resumed Anakron's fast pace down the corridor, and presently came to his rooms, where they found in the doorway the remains of Nuglut, the former, apparently, cousin of Lûgnût. Anakron had always wondered how Nuglut had been able to stay away from those umlauts that seemed to hang around Lûgnût everywhere he went, but the lack of them was not, apparently, any help at protecting oneself from the onset of a bad case of Skittles.

"Skittles was in my room," Anakron deduced. "Very, very suspicious. Any idea what she might have been planning for me, assuming that she has the capacity?"

"Um, she did suggest to me cutting of your head-"

"I wouldn't put it past her."

"-or filling your shorts with itching powder."

"Nor that."

Anakron filed carefully through his clothing.

"Well," he concluded, "I'm glad she left her signature, tragic as it was for the victim. I'll not be wearing any of these ever again. I'll have them burned. At any rate, having triumphed over the insanity planned for me by Skittles, I sense that the Dweomer evil is somewhat at rest. Now, what's this about you and destiny?"

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Old 06-15-2006, 03:51 PM   #97
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Panakeia half smiled, relieved to hear Anakron behaving reasonably again. "Destiny? Need I explain? I thought you understood."

Anakron assured her that he did not understand. Panakeia sighed. He must have missed the sign from Spockú. She would explain. She understood.

"Don't you see? It was fate that brought us together. The ATM could have chosen anyone to join the Offending Party. But it didn't. It chose me. I could have left Mordor. But I didn't. I stayed – for you. And now, at your point of crisis, I'm here, and I've been chosen for a mission! My mission is to save you from yourself."

Anakron looked questioning, concerned. "What do you mean by chosen?"

That eyebrow was up again. It was a sign to speak fully. Panakeia was seized by a torrent of words, not all of which she completely understood in her wild fervor, though she relished them in their utterance. "I was chosen! I have orders from the Captain. It is my duty to the Federation to fulfill the mission, though, given the choice, I would have taken it of my own accord. I love you. What else could I do but help, even without the concern of duty? And the Dweomer. The Dweomer, Anakron! Its existence violates the high law of the Temporal Prime Directive. It changes time. You cannot continue its evil. We can cast it away. I can show you the way. For you, for us, for the Captain!" The light, like the bright glow of a warp drive running at factor nine, was in her face again. Panakeia was ecstatic as her mind traveled far from the dark chambers of Mount Doom – for she had a vision of a brightly lit room, filled with flashing lights and chirping buzzers. The Captain sat in a squared chair. Spockú leaned over a blue-glowing box, the light reflecting off his glorious Shadowbrow and mingling with the blue of his uniform. It was a beautiful sight. Panakeia at last understood Kirk's despair when he was told that the ship did not exist. But that was a lie. Of course the ship existed. Panakeia saw it, clear as day. She had to go there, to stand upon the bridge, and Anakron had to come with her. She would bring him to the Captain, and any evil she failed to repair would surely vanish in the Captain's wisdom.

The vision faded, and Panakeia saw Anakron again, a puzzled frown working its way over his face. Why should he frown? Their path was now laid before their feet, and they had but to follow it to its logical (Panakeia savored the word – Spockú used it often) conclusion at the Captain's chair. Then all would be made right by Kirk's wisdom, and if necessary, his uncanny ability to beat anyone in a fight. There was no reason for Anakron to be concerned. Or afraid, if that was what his expression meant.

"Anakron! Come with me. We will seek the Captain. Come with me. It is what we must do."

Anakron's frown deepened. Now he understood. His latest anakronism was taking hold of Panakeia's mind.

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Old 06-15-2006, 03:59 PM   #98
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Skittles slipped unnoticed through the darkness like a dark, unnoticeable slippy thing, till at last she reached the hall in sector 17 where her electronic doppelganger lay in a rather destroyed state. The hallways was otherwise unoccupied, which was fortunate for those who might have been occupying it, seeing as how seeing the damaged doppelganger did not put Skittles in a very charitable mood.

She hefted the life-sized Skittlesque machine over one shoulder and looked both ways before crossing the hall. Presently, she came across a confused and deserted Igör, who had inexplicably been left to his own devices whilst Maika, Dracomir, and Lola disappeared into the bowels of the mountain. Skittles first instinct was to eliminate the witness, but then she got a better idea, and grabbed Igör by the scruff of his neck with her free hand. "I need your help!" she declared, dragging the oddly complacent man-thing along with her.

They came to a door marked Top Secret and Skittles entered a secret code into the keypad beside said door. Then she had to undergo a retina scan and a fingerprint test, before the door finally hissed open in a hydraulic fashion. Tediously, they had to pass through three other such gateways before reaching the Top Secret Automaton Laboratory where Skittles was, oddly enough, chief robotics engineer.

Igör gaped at this information, and Skittles said, "What? I can't have hidden depths?"

She lay the robot out on a cold steel table and assembled various surgical tools and supplies. Then she washed and sterilized her hands, which Igör found somewhat odd, but did not comment on. "What did you need my help with?" he asked, helpfully.

"We must repair the creature's brain," Skittles said solemnly. "Or make it a new one. You will be my assistant. You may call me 'master'."

"Is that last part optional?"

"I suppose so," Skittles relented. "Forceps."

"Pardon me?"

"The forceps. Hand me the forceps."

"Oh." Igör studied the array of tools. "Which is the forceps?"

Skittles pointed at a power drill. "That."

"That looks like a power drill."

"Excuse me, but who's the chief robotics engineer here and who is the hunchbacked assistant?"

"Okay, fine." Igör handed her the drill.

"Be a doll and plug it in, would you?"

Igör did as bidden, and the two of them spent another hour or so drilling, cutting, and generally doing vague things to the head of the automaton.

Finally: "It's not use!" cried Skittles overdramatically. "The brain is ruined! We must find a newer, better brain!"

Igör considered pointing out that the brain had been in better shape before all the drilling and cutting, but forebear, and simply said, "Yes, master. I mean, Skittles."

"But where will we find a newer, better brain?" Skittles mused, tapping her chin.

"Perhaps in there?" Igör pointed to a door marked 'Newer, Better Brains.'

"Brilliant! Go fetch me one!"

Igör sighed, but went off obligingly. He opened the door and peered into the darkened room. It smelt vaguely of formaldehyde and elderberries. He groped around finally happened upon a light switch, but not after seizing hold of two mice (one dead), a spider, and several cans of processed cheese.

Dim light suffused the storage room, and revealed several rows of Mason jars lined up on dusty shelves. Igör read the labels curiously. There were Elven brains, Hobbit brains, Dwarf brains, Orc brains (shockingly tiny, those) and Human brains. There were geniuses, pretty-smart-chaps, average thinkers, and complete-dodos. There were right-sided thinking brains and left-sided thinking brains. There were male brains and female brains, fat brains, skinny brains, brains who climb on rocks, tough brains, sissy brains, even brains with chicken pox.

"Abby Normal," he read one label. "Sounds fitting." He carefully picked up the jar (coughing a bit from the dust cloud) and carried it back out to Skittles, who had grown bored and was contemplating amputating the robot's legs. Luckily, she had only gotten as far as drawing lines on the thighs with a pencil.

"Excellent," she said, opening the jar. "Perfect! Superfluous!" She dumped the brain into the gaping cavity that was RoboSkitt's skull. Then she patched up the forehead and reapplied the skin (which was two shades darker than the rest of the robot's skin, since they seemed to be out of 'deathly pale') and declared it done.

"Step back," she instructed, whipping out a pair of defibrillator paddles and rubbing them together gleefully. Then she administered a jolt to the robot's chest. It began to violently twitch, and Skittles cried, "It's Alive!!!!!!!"

"Yes, mas... er, Skittles."

The robot got up from the table and said, "Konvey! Konvey! Konvey!"

Skittles gave it a kick, and it settled down. "Hello! I am RoboSkitt 2000™, how may I serve you?" it chirped.

"I don't know," Skittles admitted. "I have no idea where this plot-twist is going."

"But... what's it for?" Igör asked, scratching his head.

"Chaos, confusion, distraction."

"Isn't that what you're for?"

"Yes, but RoboSkitt provides double the chaos and double the fun!"

"I'm the statement in the great mint of Robomint Gum," offered the robot.

"Precisely. And pretty soon every chief war advisor will have one." Skittles turned the robot toward the door and said, "Go, little one, go create madness until I think up a good use for you!"
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Old 06-15-2006, 10:14 PM   #99
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It completely surprised, and utterly disgusted, Maika to find herself almost wanting to hug Lola. It seemed she was wrong about her after all. Maybe Lola did not really know her way around as much as it looked she did, and she did not want Maika to panic by telling her outright that they were lost. So much was she grateful to Lola for getting them back on track that she had begun to embrace such delusions.

The authoritative tapping of her stiletto heels could hardly keep up with her pacing heartbeat as she, Lola, and Dracomir silently (not counting the sound of their footsteps, of course) made their way down the hall. This is it, she thought, for the nth time, pursing her lips and breathing in deeply. After all the crazy delays that can only occur in Mordor, they were finally about to speak to Roggie--

Her usual dramatics were cut short by a glimpse of a flying kick and a loud crash. For a moment Dracomir's eyes were so wide that Maika had to hold her hands together to keep from poking them. A "Come on, then, let's go," from Lola was more effective. They stepped in.

"Maika," Dracomir's voice came suddenly, "I don't know if that stuff you got from Alli is helping, but if you want to double-check, I happen to have here a stylish, haute monde silver Unblemishability Cloak. Belonged to my grand...mother, y'know. Want to try it on? It's never failed before."

In her excitement over the more recent events (actually, she just did not want to admit that they had left her a bit disoriented), Maika had actually forgotten about the face cream. She thought it had been too long since she first applied it, and it probably worked no longer - if it even did. She squinted at Dracomir's face. He was smirking. But he has always been smirking! One could count with the fingers the number of times his (nick)name appeared with "smirked," or some other lip movement to that effect, in the books and even including the toes would not suffice. Maika decided that the urgency of the situation did not leave her much choice.

"I don't know why you even bother, Dracomir," Maika finally replied, "but I could not be so rude as to refuse. What harm could it do, anyway?"

Maika saw a faint glint in his eyes, and she stood wondering what it was for and so did not see how, suddenly, there was something on Dracomir's hands. A long and silvery something. He handed it to her, and she gazed at it, taking in its exquisite feel with sheer wonder. It felt like water woven into a cloak. But in the midst of her awe, she hesitated.

"What?" Dracomir exclaimed, a little irritably.

"It's silver. Haven't you read my Character Description Form? 'I wear nothing but black and white.' "

Dracomir smirked again. "So? Will you let yourself be hindered by something you did not create for yourself? Come on, I'm sure she wouldn't mind. And it's for your own good."

Sighing audibly, Maika gently unfolded the silvery something. It fell gracefully to the floor. She quickly threw it around her shoulders as she saw Lola look back at them, apparently wondering why they had stopped walking. She raised her eyebrow, giving Maika a quick look from top to bottom, as if she had been wearing a red-and-white striped shirt and a yellow polka dot bikini bottom. Maika ignored her as she snorted and turned away.

"How does it look?" she said softly to Dracomir as she stepped ahead of him and turned back towards him. He nodded approvingly. The smirk was no longer there; in its place was a smirkier smirk.

That better not mean something, Maika thought as she hurried towards Lola with Dracomir on her tail, or...or...whatever Maika would do, he certainly would not be smirking for a long time.

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Old 06-16-2006, 03:37 AM   #100
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The anything but jolly Santar stepped forwards, shaking the stairs as he went, but not really caring, it would seem. Smilog held desperately onto the railings and began to wail, "Hay, you'll knock us all off!"

"I don't care," said Santar, "You, Smilog, deserve death! But as for Roggie, here!" Santar roared a loud and terrible roar, shaking from head to tow. "You don't know who I was, do you?"

"Of course not," said Roggie, eying up the stairs and wondering weather he could out run the shockwaves created by Santar's footsteps. "But, we must be going. We have a Middle Earth to save, you see."

"I worked in your casino!" cried Santar, bashing his staff against the stairs as hard as he could and making them shake terribly. Smilog was almost sick. "I was one of the first to work at your casino! Yet one day you came up to me and said, 'sorry, you, I'm afraid you're too fat to work here' and you cast me out. Well, ever since then, I've been plotting my revenge."

"And eating chocolate," noted Smilog and immediately wished he hadn’t as Santar hit him across the face with his staff and then advanced towards the group. The manic man's face was growing as red as his cloak and he stared down at Smilog with terrible eyes.

Wondering what to do, Tollin quickly raised his morning star and prepared to strike the man if he came any nearer. But Santar stopped and laughed, "You fools!" he cried, "I cannot be stricken down with mortal weapon!" Tollin did not believe this and struck him anyway, the head of the morning star got stuck in Santar's fat and began to get sucked in. Panicking, Tollin tried to wrench the weapon free, but like quicksand, the more he struggled, the more it got sucked in. Eventually, he let go and Santar took up the morning star and removed it, before casting it back at Tollin. It missed and nearly fell over the edge of the stairs if it had not hit Smilog in the chest as he tried to escape.

"You used to work for me, Dwarf," continued Santar, "after I left the casino, I started up my own place and you served drinks. But one day you got a letter and up and left just when the police discovered I'd put those toxins in the drinks. I was put in prison for twenty years!"

"Twenty years?" cried Smilog in horror, then confusing, "wait, twenty years? I've not been gone that long."

"Erm..." said Santar, "I think there was a time vortex involved in there somewhere... but it matters not! I am here to destroy you! You too Tollin! I know of you!"

"I have no time for this," said Roggie as he threw a metal bar from the stairs at the face of Santar and ran for it. Tollin and Smilog followed on as quick as they could, but thye soon heard the roar of Santar as he thundered after them with unquenchable fury. Solom galloped alongside Smilog and waved at him before leaping onto his face and trying to rip his beard off.

"Hay! You!" cried Smilog, taking the creature off his face, "go away!" Solom saluted and dashed off and began to hug Santar's arms very tightly. The three vagabonds bounded up the stairs at full tilt, as the stairs rapidly began to fall apart behind them. Santar called out in a loud cry,

"Elves, attack them!" and all of a sudden, a cloud of goblins poured out of secret caverns and hollows in the walls and began climbing onto the stairs. Before Smilog could point out that these were not elves, but goblins wearing silly green outfits, Tollin grabbed him and dragged him up the stairs. The goblins were getting closer, but the travellers were nearing the top of the stairs. There was a rock platform and a long thin bridge. The bridge of Kazad Zoom. It was suspended right across the centre of the now dark chasm, the depths of wich were uncknown. It was a slender bridge without kerb or rail that spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet.

Tollin stood his ground on the stone platform as Smilog dashed across the bridge followed closely by Roggie. When he got to the other side, Smilog saw that Tollin was grossly outnumbered, so he dashed back and drew his axe and began mercilessly hacking away at the goblins. They kept coming thick and fast, arrows flying over their heads and swords clanging and bones shattering as Tollin's morning star (which he had picked up after it hit Smilog) swooped through the ranks.

Suddenly, the Goblins stopped fighting and began to retreat in fear, something had spooked them and they were afraid. Roggie crept behind Tollin and looked at the goblins as the fled in the wake of something that was slowly coming up the stirs. The thunderous noise of Santar’s feet was getting closer and he finally came to the platform and stood before them larger than life (almost literally). He raised his staff and a great torrent of lightning issued forth and just missed Smilog's head. "This is a foe beyond any of you," cried Roggie, "Over the bridge, fly!"

Tollin and Smilog ran with all their speed over the bridge and came to a second platform, before them were some stone stairs leading to a great metal door with a large plaque over it saying "Doom". The enemy reached the bridge. Tollin and Smilog turned to see Roggie stood in the middle of the span, leaning on his sword in his left hand but in his right, his whip of fire shone pale red. His enemy halted, facing him and his cloak stretched forth as he removed it menacingly. Santar raised his staff and lightning whined and cracked. But Roggie stood firm.

"You cannot pass," he said.

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Old 06-16-2006, 08:04 AM   #101
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Anakron stared at Panakeia. Strange talk! What in Middle Earth and Mordor had come over her? It hit him like an Unnergrind Train out of control: the Dweomer - she had got religion! A jumble of conflicting emotions battled through him, until one overpowered the rest.

Anakron laughed out loud.

"What's so funny?" Panakeia asked with a smile on her lips but a frown on her brow.

"You've been hit with the dweomer. You believe in a false religion." Anakron couldn't stop chuckling. "Worse yet, yours is from an anakronistic teevee show!" Anakron howled with laughter.

Panakeia scowled, not liking his mockery. "I resent that!"

Anakron tried to stifle his humor and waved off her resentment good naturedly. "No, no, it's okay. You can have your religion, no real harm in it, far as I can see, all about peace throughout the federation and all that. Believe what you will. But I think we can have a little fun with this. I think I'll give Skittles a little religion too, and I ought to see how Lûgnût is coming along. And you can save me from myself while you're at it," he grinned. "Come along!"
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:53 AM   #102
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Roggie drew himself to his incredibly substantial full height and glared down at Santar, for though Santar was tall, he was no match for a fully grown balrog feeling mean.

"You asked me, Santar, if I knew you. I know you. All of Middle Earth knows you! For once you called yourself differently, but Santar, though you may change your name and your shape," Roggie eyed Santar's belly with disdain, "You can never change who you are... or who you once were.

"You call now, Santar, upon goblins; you call them elves. They were elves, once, before your master took them and tortured them beyond recognition. Not only did you take their long lives and good humor, their kindness, and their majesty, but your master took their height and honor! These elves, as you call them, wear jingling bells and red and green tights. They were shoes with buckles and look downright silly, as no elf ever could. You may change their names, as you did yours, Santar, but they will never be elves just as you will never be one loved by the children of this Middle Earth.

"You may call yourself the lord of gifts, Santar, and you may believe yourself to be, but you are, as were you ever, Annatar, and even Sauron, and you are not welcome here."

Santar drew himself up in his rage but Roggie did not let him speak.

"You once seduced the elves of Eregion with your beauty and cunning, yet both attributes have you lost. Now... in all of your flaccid glory, you have sunken to this level: to play the part of an anakronistic travesty and work as a miserable old man in a red suit to cater to the delinquent children in my casino...

"Santar, if that is how you desire to be known, we are of an Age. We were never meant for this time, yet we were here, and we were, of old, matched for strength and wit. Yet you, Lord of Gifts... how you have let yourself go."

Roggie balanced upon his peg leg, looking down his nose at the maia that had formerly run Mordor.

"This land is mine, Santar. You lost your right to it when you let a three foot tall furry creature destroy your jewelry. Does that sound like an entity that deserves power over a kingdom? I think not. You have fallen, Santar, from the most powerful being in this Middle Earth to being an elderly fat man upon whose lap small children sit and beg for goodies they do not deserve. You worked for me, Santar. Does that not make you sad, to have fallen so far from grace?

"I told you before, that you shall not pass, but now, Santar, I will tell you more. You are not welcome in Mordor and you are not welcome in Middle Earth. The world knows that you were destroyed, yet they are blissfully unaware as to what destruction entails. They knew you fell, but they do not know to what.

"Santar, you shall not pass this bridge, though I remember it once having been located many hundred miles from here. Wheresoever it is, you shall not pass it. And nor shall you ever again pass the Door of Doom, lest you meet your own.

"Do you hear what I say, Santar?"

The man in red cowered now before Roggie, shamed before the audience of a dwarf and minotaur.

"I hear what you say, King Roggie."

Roggie glared from above and Santar met his eyes, but reluctantly.

"You realize, Santar, that your powers are all but gone? You have nothing left, not even impressive physical form. You will not try to seek revenge again. You will leave my palace and casino and I will not see you again. Am I understood?"

Santar nodded and slunk, so much as a very large man in jello-red pyjamas can, into the shadows and never bothered, nor was seen by, Roggie again.

"Tollin, Dwarf-whose-name-I-don't-remember... where next?"

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Old 06-16-2006, 12:10 PM   #103
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Certainly, neither Smilog nor Tollin had expected that. They stood bemused for a few seconds while Roggie stood looking smug and very pleased with himself. Eventually, Tollin pointed to the Door ladled Doom, "I say we see what is in there." he said.

"Smilog!" cried the dwarf, "My name is Smilog!"

"Door of Doom, eh?" said Roggie, ignoring the dwarf who then went on a mumbling rant that lasted a good few minuets. Slowly, they climbed the stairs towards the mysterious door, seeing as they had little other option; Santar had destroyed most of the stairs with his walking. "I wonder if this is the 'crack of Doom,’" mused Roggie, examining the plaque.

"Only one way to find out," said Tollin, pushing the door open and entering. They all followed and found that it was a large perfectly circular room. The door closed behind them with a click. Smilog gripped his axe and looked nervously around the odd room, wondering what to do and where to find an escape rout. There was no sound in the room and the floor felt strangely wet for something inside a volcano.

The floor was smooth and varnished, decorated with many images of Roggie dressed as a kingly figure. Yet, the floor was covered in a thin layer of water that seemed to have no right to be there at all. Suddenly, they heard a sound from above, an odd sort of sound, "What's that?" asked Smilog,

"What's what?" replied Roggie, examining the picture of himself on the floor.

"That 'waaaaaaarrrreeeeggg' sort of noise," the dwarf tried to listen carefully as the noise got louder. They all looked around to see where the sound was coming from, but Tollin guessed correctly, as he looked upwards and saw the plain ceiling open up and a torrent of water gushed out along with a strange man covered in meat. They were all swooped to the sides of the chamber by the flowing water and tried to hang on to anything they could.

Smilog coughed and spluttered as the waters settled, it seemed that there was another person in the centre of the room. "You!" cried the dwarf, "I thought you were dead!" for there in the room, stood, or rather lay, Andvarri, keeper (or seeker) of the legendary Gold.

"Roggie," said the man, "I need to use your mountain for a while." Andvarri struggled to his feet and wobbled a bit. "The gold is hidden under Mount Zoom itself, but we need to get back to Mordor. There we can use Roggie's peg leg to open the gates!"

"Look," said Tollin, "we're not interested in gold at the moment. We do, however, need to get back to Mordor." Roggie regarded the man with disgust as he tried to rid himself of the stench of pork. Smilog seemed strangely interested in the ground.

The Dwarf scratched the surface and began flapping his arms towards the others, indicating that he wanted them to be quiet. They were for a moment and could then hear a strange rumbling that was coming from below. All of a sudden, the Floor opened like a trap door and they all fell down with a "Waaaaaaaarrrreeegggg!"

Skittles had just sent the robot on its way and she was now rubbing her hands with glee, and grinning an almost evil grin. Igör was trying to slink away, but they all stopped as they could hear a strange noise coming from above. "What’s that?" asked Igör.

"What's what?"

"That sort of, 'Waaaaaaarrrrrreeeegggg!' noise?"

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Old 06-17-2006, 10:16 AM   #104
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Anakron was off at his usual brisk, elegantly robe-flapping stride. Panakeia gave herself a split-second to wonder (for what must have been the thousandth time) how Anakron always managed to maintain the regality of his billowing fabric before springing after him most unelegantly. She was tangled in her long gown, her heels were making her feet ache, and she found it difficult to keep up with Anakron's swift pace.

Despite being out of breath from running, hopping, and otherwise hurrying through Mount Doom, Panakeia continued to lecture Anakron. "What do you mean by false religion?" she demanded huffily. "It isn't false. I have seen the Captain with the great Spockú and McBones. How would the battle with A Slan have ended if not for their intervention?" The memory that Illamatar, not the Captain, had been responsible for the battle's end briefly came to her, but she pushed it aside, willing to adopt the Captain's delusional belief that his presence was enough to solve any and all problems. The Dweomer's hold on her was deepening.

"Much as it did, I suppose." Anakron's eyes were laughing, though he suppressed the audible manifestations of his mirth.

Panakeia scowled.

They reached a door marked Top Secret. Various security devices - a keypad, a retina scanner and a fingerprint reader - guarded the door. Anakron reached past them for the doorknob. The door opened.

The technologically advanced, if faulty, security system fascinated Panakeia. It wasn't completely dissimilar to the devices she knew from her visions of the ship. Did Anakron know the way to Kirk?

Her voice quivered in excitement. "Where are we going?" she asked while Anakron opened the next door by knocking on it.

"To find Skittles." Panakeia would have preferred Kirk. But though disappointed, she didn't object. Finding Kirk was her job, after all.

They reached the third door.

All must know the truth of the Federation.
Panakeia stopped Anakron as he started to open the door.

"Yes, you said my religion was false. But I say to you, Anakron, that you cannot believe this. You said you were going to give Skittles religion. We are going to give Skittles religion. She will learn the way of the Captain. We will show her. We will show them all. Because if they don't join, they will be doomed as enemies of the Federation. And our enemies..." Panakeia's face was almost wild "...must be destroyed. For the sake of peace in the Federation." Her face was wild.

A still amused Anakron merely stared before giving the door a shove with his pinky. It swung on creaking hinges to reveal a laboratory. Skittles and Igör stood inside, watching robot-Skittles attempt to pull open a door marked push.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:25 AM   #105
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Dracomir was certainly having some difficulty resisting his baser smirking urges. Now, if and when they found Roggie, and during the interim, Maika would be silenced, correspondingly increasing his own influence over the embassy. But what made the affair still more satisfying was that he had found a use for one of the apparently preposterous Malfoy Relics. Maybe he would yet be able to decipher the Mordorers' Map...in the meantime, exultation was the name of the game.

Now Tom only needed to triumph over Lola...which, he imagined, was a rather trickier proposition. He considered her in his mind's eye. Alright, fine, his eye, as his mind was rather disarmed in close proximity to this particular problem. Perhaps, he decided, it was time for a completely egregious insult. Judging by his experiences at Hogwarts, women just lapped that up.

"Aren't you a bit domineering for a chorus-girl?" he objected. "It doesn't suit you, m'dear. What you need is some old-fashioned patriarchal treatment-someone should, oh, I don't know, carry you off on horseback and imprison you on some desolate farm, guarded by a wise-cracking cynic and a gentle giant. That ought to drill some winsome submission into you..."
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Old 06-17-2006, 11:42 AM   #106
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The Gondorians stared, dumbstruck, as the supposed-to-be immovable mountain raced off over the horizon.

"I don't believe it..." Angawen started to say.

"Best that we don't," said Hyarmenwë, doing his best to keep a brave face on things. "Believing in... that... could get us Assignment."

"Old man," said Angawen, "just about everything here could get us Assigned."

"They're gone..." Bearugard wasn't listening too much, it seemed. "They've abandoned us."

"Well, seeing as we weren't supposed to have left the mountain in the first place, we can hardly get upset about THAT," said Angawen irritably. "Let's get on with what we planned to do in the first place: gather some information. The presence or absence of Mt. Doom doesn't make a whit of difference to whether or not we can accomplish that task."

"But the negotiations..." Bearugard persisted. "They just rolled away!"

"The negotiations were practically terminated anyway," Hyarmenwë pointed out. "The Lady Angawen is right: we should make practical use of this time. Surely it won't be long before they realise we're missing?"

They all stood silently, watching as the last glimpse of Mt. Doom disappeared from sight.

"Right," said Angawen. "Enough of this standing around. Let's get to work."

"And how do you propose we do that?" asked Hyarmenwë. "Just walk up to a Mordorian and ask for inside details of King Roggie's court?"

"Why not?" asked Angawen. "Have you got a better idea?"

"I haven't got any idea," replied Hyarmenwë. "But considering that most Mordorians were banished to this forsaken land by the laws of Gondor, I don't see the locals being too friendly. And we stand out in this land like trolls in the Shire. And more than a few of those things or people banished are dangerous. What have we for weapons? A few blades and some personal prowess."

"All we have to be is careful," said Angawen. "It's no different to be careful in Mordor than it is in Gondor. Keep our wits about us and we shall be fine- right, Bearugard?"

Angawen turned to the third Gondorian for support, to see him staring into the distance. An anakronism of some sort was racing towards them. As it drew nearer, they saw that the spymaster, Alli Umfuil, was riding it.

"Gondorians," she addressed them once her ride had halted, "it seems your current home has left without you. Why you were not in it upon its departure I do not care to learn. I'll find out soon enough without your help. However, we must get back to it. First, though, I suspect that your hunger may be nudging your stomachs and the bodies that carry them in the direction of the eateries whose scents have filled the air? I can't guarantee your protection from any other anakronisms, but I can ascertain that eating food here will not harm you. Where would you like to go for midday meal?"

"Anywhere with food and as low a number of anakronisms as possible would be fine," Angawen told Alli immediately.

"I'd rather forgo food altogether, and get back to Mt. Doom," said Hyarmenwë. "Food can wait until things are back to as they should be."

"This is Mordor," said Alli. "Nothing is as it should be."

"I'm hungry," said Bearugard. "I think we should eat."

"Two to one," Angawen flashed Hyarmenwë a self-conceited victorious smile. "We win." She turned to Alli. "Lead the way. We don't have a clue where we're going."
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:20 PM   #107
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Alli smiled, holding back a smirk. I don't have to like her, but I have to be nice.

"Of course you don't. I should have remembered just how very uneducated you are."

Well... at least not openly hostile...

"I apologize, Hyarmenwë, that things do not seem to be going well." She smiled a sincerely apologetic half-smile at the aging dignitary. While Alli liked all of the Gondorians in their own way, she was especially fond of this old man. She remembered him from before her Assignation... one of the few politicians she had respect for. His interest was not in personal gain, but in the welfare of the country he loved. "I hope you are aware, all of you, that this mess is not of your doing and I sincerely apologize for being unable to speak to you before the proceedings. I know that you were sent here with little idea of what to expect..."

She paused for a moment, glaring at a reporter goblin falling from the eaves of a nearby building. She rolled her eyes as he lay on the ground whimpering. The media... always whining when a story is less than easy to get hold of.

"Come..." she resumed. "We cannot hope to catch up to the palace until I can ascertain it's location, and that's assuming that it has stopped somewhere. There is a small inn a few streets over that was Assigned only because it served vegetarian meals and the King was unhappy with the term for meatless items. The food is delicious, and not all meatless, the old man that runs the place is kind, and you will find the place to be much like a small tavern at home. As we eat, you may ask me any questions you desire pertaining to your business here. After that I will try to get in touch with a few of my people and we'll make a plan as to how to get to Mount Doom."
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:04 PM   #108
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Anakron considered. So Skittles had gotten Skittlebot working again. Apparently the thing was more insane than its maker, or stupider, as it was trying to pull a push-door. Very well. Anakron lifted his staff, facing Skittles, thinking of one of the anakronistic religions from the deplorable future.

"Konvey."

It didn't take.

"Konvey!"

Panakeia pushed passed him. It still didn't take.

"Kon-bliddy-vey!!!"

"I greet you in the name of the Federation, Skittles!" Panakeia announced. "I represent Captain Kirk and the Star Ship Enterprise, bringer of peace and justice throughout the four quadrants of the Galaxy."

Skittles sucked in breath. Anakron held his. It looked as if it was taking! But this was Skittles, and who knew what weird way it would realize itself? And if Panakeia would like it or be dumbfounded or scandalized or worse. Anakron snickered.
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:20 PM   #109
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The tension was rising as Panakeia awaited Skittles' answer. All the while, the 'Waaaaaaarrrrrreeeegggg' noise was getting louder and Igör looked from side to side, wondering what to do.

All of a sudden, a trapdoor opened in the ceiling and out fell Smilog who fell on top of Skittles. Then came Tollin, who landed on top of Smilog, and finally Roggie, who landed on a near by table covered in bottles of gin. After them came a torrent of water which swiped through the laboratory, knocking over almost everything. When everything had settled, Roggie rose, and dusted himself off, Tollin and Smilog did the same while Skittles lay slightly unconscious in the water.

"Don't slouch, Skittles," commanded Roggie, "where are we, Dwarf?" Smilog helped Skittles up, but she simply punched him in the face before dashing behind a bench. Tollin picked up a bottle of gin and hid it in Smilog's pack, for later. Andvarri then dropped out of the trap door and landed face down in the water, eventually he got up.

"I think we're in some sort of laboratory," said Smilog, pointing out the obvious, "a now rather wet laboratory." Andvarri walked towards Roggie, but he stepped on some slippery stuff Skittles had been making and he flew across the room and smashed into a glass cupboard. He danced around, screaming before tripping over backwards and landing in a bucket of acid. He leaped up and ran to the other side of the room, then he fell onto a work surface, covered in a substance that, reacting with the acid, caused a small explosion that sent Andvarri out of the nearest wall and far into the LA beach.

"That was weird," remarked Skittles, rather puzzled. Roggie made his way to the exit, calling Skittles. She merely laughed at him. Smilog and Tollin looked around at the chaos they had indirectly caused and slowly began to follow Roggie to the exit.

"He's got the right idea," said Smilog, quietly, "let’s hope these good people don't notice us."
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Old 06-17-2006, 02:53 PM   #110
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It took a lot to confuse and unsettle Skittles MacFarlewyn. But it can be said that Anakron and Panakeia somehow figuring out where she was and somehow getting past all the security devices and Anakron somehow waving his staff and yelling "Konvey!" until she felt an odd twitching in her skull, followed by Roggie, Smilog, a man and a minotaur crashing through the ceiling in one of the strangest and illogical forms of drainage ever created, was rather a lot. The coup de etat of the man causing an explosion, blowing a hole in the wall, and rocketing out onto the beach, was nothing short of a very lot.

Punching out the dwarf and laughing at a wet and bedraggled Roggie only made her feel slightly better. She turned to Anakron and Panakeia in a wrath: "Do the words 'Top Secret' mean nothing to you people?"

"Apparently not," said Anakron imperiously.

"Who cares about such things, when they are in service of the Captain!" cried Panakeia with a feverish gleam in her eyes.

"Yeah, uh, whatever," Skittles said, distracted by RoboSkitt blowing a couple fuses at she sat in a puddle. Skittles rushed to rescue her robo double from further damage and propped her up against a wall. Suddenly, an odd feeling came over her, like the twitching from before only more violent. Sort of like a sneezing in her skull. And lo! She looked upon RoboSkitt and saw her with different eyes. Well, technically, the same eyes as always, but when the information was sent to her brain it told her different things.

She fell to her knees and looked up at the robot in adoration. "Goddess!" she cried. "It is not right that these lowly cretins," she waved a hand in the general direction of Smilog and Tollin, then towards Anakron and Panakeia, "should look upon you!"

RoboSkitt was now blind in one eye, due to the water damage, but she peered at Skittles from her good eye and said, "Hello, I am RoboSkitt 2000™, how may I serve you?"

"Ask not how you may serve your human counterpart, but ask how your human counterpart can serve you," Skittles said with something akin to fervor. "Tell me how to serve you!"

"I am a fully automated human simulation and can go up to 24 hours between recharging. I am manufactured by ACME Inc. and come with a lifetime warranty, I--"

"Listen, you stupid robot," Skittles snarled, whipping out a switchblade and holding it up to RoboSkitt's one good eye, "I'm trying to worship you here, so say something worshipful before I pop your vision port out. Capice?"

RoboSkitt blinked rapidly and gulped. "Oh-ohkay. Um... I... we must slay all non-believers."

"I'm outta here," said Smilog, and Tollin nodded. They quickly slipped by Anakron and Panakeia, who were too busy gaping at Skittles to bother noticing the giant morning-star wielding minotaur. Igör thought this to be excellent thinking and shuffled out after them.

"What's going on?" Panakeia asked. "Why does she not join me in expressing love and devotion to the Captain?"

"I don't know, the sudden onslaught of water must have interfered with the Konveyance," said Anakron. Then he laughed. "It would appear she now worships her robot double. Hmmm, what would one call that? Roboticism? Narcissism?."

Skittles turned to them. "I worship the supreme divinity of RoboSkitt 2000™ and it is my sworn duty to slay all non-believers." Her eyes narrowed. "Do you believe?"

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Old 06-18-2006, 01:25 AM   #111
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The Dwarf and his large companion shuffled out of the room and down the corridor, although Igör was following them. Smilog looked over his shoulder nervously at him and said, "Who is that?" Igör stopped and tried to whistle innocently. Tollin shrugged and walked on, the Dwarf hopped after him (he had heart his leg in the fall).

"Where did Roggie go?" asked Tollin, scratching his chin.

"Ah, who cares?" moaned Smilog, "He never helped us one bit. Apart from the Santar thing... and giving me a job... and a house... shut up!" He moped and wandered along, taking every opportunity to look out of a window and see if the Mountain was moving again. It wasn't.

Soon they realised that they had been wandering in circles as they passed the laboratory for the third time and could still see Skittles and the others inside talking of one thing and another. Frustrated, Smilog punched the wall and nearly fell though it, "Good grief," he said, "Roggie did cut corners in making this thing didn't he?" They peered out though the hole he had just created in the mountainside. down below they could see Sauron's road and Smilog was struck with an idea, "why don't we line it with dynamite and blow up the mountain?"

"Because," explained Tollin, "that would be stupid. It would make more sense to follow the road. If my reading of the red book were correct, it should lead to the crack of doom!"

"That was my next idea," grumbled the Dwarf, "let us investigate."

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Old 06-18-2006, 06:22 AM   #112
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"Do I believe?" Anakron echoed. "Certainly. Of course."

There was a hint of stifled laughter in his voice, much to Panakeia's relief. He didn't really believe, but he wasn't above having a bit of fun with Skittles. Besides, there was the switchblade to consider. Arguing with a crazed Skittles was probably never a good idea. Arguing with her while a switchblade shone in her hand was foolishly risky.

But, in her devotion to her new religion, Panakeia didn't mind taking stupid risks. The Captain never passed on a chance to put himself in unnecessary danger. And this risk was for the glory of the Federation.

"Anakron can say what he likes. But I don't believe. I'll never believe. Hmmph. RoboSkitt 2000™. How absurd. She doesn't even work properly. Look at her." Panakeia's contempt for the robot, which was now repeatedly bending to touch its toes while chanting a sing-song about abs of steel, poured over her face.

Skittles stepped forward. "You take that back."

"I will not."

Anakron was still chuckling to himself. "This is all most fascinating, but I have business to attend with Lûgnût. I'll see you later. Good-bye!" He strode to the door.

Panakeia didn't like that. "Wait! You can't leave," she cried.

But the door had already closed behind him. Panakeia was torn. Should she follow Anakron or stay with Skittles?

She chose the latter. Panakeia could find Anakron later. He didn't seem to be in any immediate danger of terribly bad behavior. He could manage alone for a little while. At least until she showed this foolish Skittles the error of her ways.

"Skittles, listen to me. You have a choice. You can either join the Federation with me, or perish. Our enemies will not be tolerated."

"Same to you." Skittles stuck out her tongue.

Now Panakeia was angry. She racked her brain for insults to hurl at the robot. She did her worst.

"You found RoboSkitt at a half-off sale."

Skittles retorted, "The Captain is a sissy and uses a stunt-double."

Insults to the Captain's dignity were not to be tolerated. Panakeia flew at Skittles, attempting to wrest the switchblade from her grasp. Skittles slipped aside like the slippy thing that she was, and Panakeia hit the ground. She tried to tumble along the laboratory floor, but that acrobatic skill belonged to the Captain alone. Panakeia's gown became tangled around the leg of the operating table. She was trapped.

Skittles laughed. "Who's going to perish now?" The switchblade flickered.

RoboSkitt chirped, "Kill, kill, kill."

Panakeia tugged at her gown. It didn't budge. She screamed.
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Old 06-18-2006, 06:49 AM   #113
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The hole in the wall was defiantly not big enough for Smilog, and certainly not big enough for Tollin. Anakron walked out of the lab, casually ignoring the existence of Smilog but giving a nod to the large figure of Tollin, whose shadow was cast over the whole area. Or was it. There was far too much shadow around to be natural. There was only one explanation.

"How long have you been standing there, Roggie?" said Tollin, looking at the Balrog as he sat on the floor reading a newspaper entitled 'The Daily Death', it carried a large picture of Mount doom and Roggie out side it. The headline was 'Greatest Balrog ever?'. It was clear that Roggie (or someone who liked him) controlled the Mordor media.

"Oh, a few minuets," he said, "I've seen you walk by here at least three times. That dwarf's sense of direction is about as reliable as an Orc's food not to be poisonous." Tollin rolled his eyes and then explained the situation, Roggie pondered it for a moment, then decided he had nothing better to do and so decided to see how it would play out.

"Now," said Smilog, "Tollin can use his mighty horns to make this hole larger, then we can investigate the path."

"What happens if the Mountain starts to move while we're on the side?" asked Roggie, "Won't we be knocked off?" they pondered this for a moment, and then Smilog produced three small axes from his pack.

"If it does," said the dwarf, "we can hold on with these, I would hope." Roggie punched Smilog across the face for no apparent reason that he could think of.

"Good idea," he said, "lets get to it!" Tollin scrapped away with his horns until there was a nice big hole. The Minotaur went first, followed by Roggie, who knocked Smilog to the ground, almost not knowing why he did it. Just as Smilog was about to climb down, he heard the screams of Panakeia. Typical Mordor, he thought and rolled his eyes.

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Old 06-18-2006, 10:24 AM   #114
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Skittle grinned maliciously and advanced upon the trapped Panakeia. She deftly whipped three extra switchblades from her pockets and snapped them open in unison. Panakeia reached a particularly high note. Skittles paused to juggle the switchblades and asked, "Are you sure you don't believe?"

Panakeia paused screaming long enough to gulp, "I will not forsake the Captain!"

"Okay then." Skittles sent the switchblades slinging towards the helpless older woman. Swoosh thump (repeat 4x) went each blade as they miraculously landed in such a way as to pin the corners of Panakeia's dress to the floor (which was, oddly enough, made of corkboard.)

"You wish to torture me before you kill me, then?" cried Panakeia.

"I'm like a cat that way." Skittles knelt beside her. "But I'm giving you one more chance to believe before I do you in like I did in ol' Nuglut."

"Don't delay, slay right away!" said RoboSkitt, as she did jumping jacks.

"N-no, wait, I'm t-thinking," Panakeia held up one hand. She thought hard. How could she stay alive without betraying the Captain? She thought back to what Anakron had done -- claimed to believe without really believing. But could she do the same? Should she? Would the Captain understand? Surely He, in His infinite greatness, would not hold a little self preservation against her... would He?

"Alright, I believe," she lied, crossing her fingers behind her back.

Skittles raised an eyebrow. "Mmmmm, are you sure you're not just saying that so I won't slit you from bellybutton to clavicle?"

"Oh no indeed. Um, I'm, er, just so in awe of.... that." Panakeia jerked her head towards the robot (who was now attempting to lick the soles of its feet) and smiled stiffly.

"Spectacular," said Skittles, and pulled the switchblades out, flicking them shut. "We can serve RoboSkitt 2000™ together!"

"Great...."

Skittles helped her untangle her dress and they stood, facing the contorted robot. "Shall we now go forward and slay all non-believers together?" Skittles asked.

"What? Oh, sure. But first get me some coffee, two sugars."

"You can't drink coffee, you're a robot," Skittles protested.

"I'm a Goddess, I can do anything. Get me some coffee or I will slay you for being a disobedient minion."

Skittles snorted. "Yeah, right, like that's gonna happen. What are you gonna do, strangle me with your bikini top?"

Panakeia looked between both Skittles shrewdly, her mind working in such a logical way that whatisname would be proud. She saw that Skittles' newfound devotion to her robot Goddess was at war with her natural independence. Perhaps while the two Skitts argued she could slip out unnoticed....

"Do not mock me, mere human!" said RoboSkitt, stepping in front of the doorway. "You are flesh and bones whilst I am, like, totally indestructible," she thumped her chest. "Hear me roar!"

"Yes, Goddess, I am sorry I questioned you," said Skittles, dropping to one knee and bowing her head. "I must do your bidding."

"Ya got that right. Now, I'm making a new proclamation! All flesh-bags must die and robots must rule Middle-earth. You must slay all carbon based lifeforms in my name!"

"That's illogical!" Panakeia protested in horror. "Skittles, you yourself are carbon based and you must not listen to this mad machine!"

"In order to truly serve RoboSkitt 2000™ I must commit hara-kiri with my own switchblade," Skittles said, looking thoughtfully at the knife in her hand. "Which seems rather annoying."

"I will not let this mockery of a humanoid form destroy all mankind," said Panakeia. "I will go get her coffee so that when she drinks it she will explode." She turned to the robot. "Step aside so I can go fetch you some nice coffee, yes?"

RoboSkitt shook her head and leveled a malicious gaze at Panakeia with her one good eye. "I no longer desire coffee, I only desire death and destruction."

Panakeia quickly deserted that plan and turned back to Skittles. "I have an idea." She smiled, convinced this idea was spoken to her mind by the voice of the Captain himself. "You and RoboSkitt must engage in a one-on-one battle to determine who is more worthy, man or machine."

Skittles gave it some thought, but before she could answer, RoboSkitt said, "I have grown tired of this tedious discourse, and when RoboSkitt is tired, RoboSkitt is angry!" Then, right before their eyes, she lifted her hands and lo! they converted to giant, gleaming steel scissors.

"Oh no," said Skittles. "She has been upgraded to RoboSkitt Scissorhands 2000™! I wonder when that happened!"

"Die, humans, die!" RSS 2000™ cried, advancing upon them with superhuman speed, waving her scissors and cackling madly.

Skittles and Panakeia fled from the room, screaming. They passed Igör in the hall, and when RSS 2000™ sped after, Igör began to regret choosing the Abby Normal brain.

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Old 06-19-2006, 05:59 PM   #115
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"Ahhhhhhhh! Ahhhhh!" The sound of Panakeia's shrieking echoed down the hall. Absorbed in her screaming, she failed to notice Igör. Her heels met his toes with a crunch. Without stopping to apologize, she kept running. She had to. RoboSkitt was angry.

"This is your fault," she gasped to Skittles. "Why couldn't you have let Anakron's handiwork stand?"

"Are you doubting the might and magnificance of RoboSkitt?"

With her fingers firmly crossed, Panakeia replied, "No."

"Die, humans, die!" The refrain from RoboSkitt was insistent.

But this was ridiculous. Panakeia, follower of Kirk, she who had once held the Captain's toupee in her hands, was being pursued by a malfunctioning robot. It was not to be borne.

She stopped and deliberately faced the raging machine.

"Listen to this, RoboSkitt.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.
"

RoboSkitt stopped. "That is illogical. Life is not a dream." The gears in her head spun audibly.

"Yes, that's right. Good RoboSkitt. I'm lying. Life is not a dream. I never tell the truth. Believe me when I tell you that I always lie."

"Illogical, illogical." Smoke began to pour out of the robot's ears.

Panakeia grinned. "To be logical is to be illogical. Logic is a little tweeting bird chirping in a meadow. Logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which smell bad."

RoboSkitt's stared blankly into space. "Processing, processing. Bzzt." She froze, pondering the infinite illogic and contradictory nature of Panakeia's statements, and her scissorhands dropped.

Panakeia's smile now stretched from ear to ear. Spockú would be proud of her. "You may fix RoboSkitt if you like. Just a logic circuit or two blown, I'd imagine. But I wouldn't recommend it. Seek the Captain! Join the Federation! Remember what I've said. Bye now."

Leaving Skittles to tend to her robot double and goddess, Panakeia triumphantly glid down the hall. Spotting a guard, she inquired if the Grand Anakronist had been seen. Anakron, she was told, had stepped outside. The guard pointed her to an exit.

She followed in Anakron's footsteps and stepped onto the hot sand of Mâl-in-Bû. Anakron couldn't be too far away. He didn't have that much of a head start.

Left or right?

Panakeia heard the noise of a fight to her left. With a sigh, she decided Anakron must have gone that way. She headed towards the disturbance, hoping to find him before he could cause anymore problems.

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Old 06-19-2006, 11:10 PM   #116
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"Wow," said Skittles, inspecting the deactivated robot. "The total incongruity of my robot double giving one twat about logic bears a certain irony that is not lost on me!"

"Huh?" quoth Igör eloquently, shuffling up beside her. He had found that when he scuffed his feet along the floor, he could zap things with his finger, and thought a moment about giving Skittles a shock, then thought better of it.

"Simply put -- that brain we put in the robot really was whack, because prior to the brain transplant RoboSkitt 2000™ would have been completely unfazed by all things illogical. Like me. Ergo, the Abby Normal brain must have had a susceptibility to logicitis. Yet, I still feel compelled to worship her. Perhaps it was whack in a divine sort of way. Or, perhaps, divinity itself is whack?"

"Huh. Do you want to repair it again?"

Skittles shook her head. "Nah. I find her easier to worship when inert, actually. I think I'll just put little wheels on her feet and roll her around with me."

"How are you going to worship her?" Igör asked, his curiosity getting the better of him despite a niggling suspicion that he didn't really want to know.

"Well, first, I'll declare today RoboSkitt Day, and make it a government holiday, so that in the future all government agencies can close for the day and retailers can make a profit off of it by selling various themed items. I like that idea better than slaying all organic life forms."

"That's a relief."

"Then, I'll find an attractive place to set up a monument to RoboSkitt. Or maybe I could just drill rivets through her feet and set her up as a monument.... At any rate, I will then build a shrine around the monument and people can come to pray and leave money in a holy hat or sacred open guitar case in order to worship, and I will collect said funds as Chief High Priestess of RoboSkitt, of course."

"You've been giving this a lot of thought."

"No, actually, I'm just saying it as it comes into my head."
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:59 AM   #117
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The side of the Mountain was a little blackened, probably due to the road dirt and lava flows it had experienced over the years. About the base of the mountain, a small crowd had gathered, some were complaining about the vast amount of damage done by Mount Zoom. Smilog looked back and saw the tracks the Mountain had left, along with a long line of destruction and doom. There was also an ambulance that was taking Andvarri to a near by hospital, but it turned out that Mount Zoom was in the way.

Tollin and Roggie walked on a little behind Smilog who was trying to climb as fast as he could, while the other two walked at a sensible pace. "Come along!" cried the Dwarf, "Get a move on!" Tollin threw a rock at Smilog's head, without any real reason. He helped him up and apologised. Roggie sniffed the air and whistled a little tune to himself; Jerusalem to you and me, perhaps, but to the birds it meant that the supper was ready. Thousands of flying creatures flocked to the scene, looking for some food, and all they found was the three odd travellers on the Mountainside.

"Oh goodie," sighed Smilog, "we'd better get under cover!" he looked around and saw that Tollin and Roggie had already done so. In a slightly annoyed way, Smilog dived under a rock and awaited the birds to depart and stop following them. "Blast that Roggie and his whistling!" he cried, a little too loud. A rock flew against his head once again.

All of a sudden, the birds began to disperse as a louder sound began to rise. The three travellers rose from their hiding places and looked around to see what it was. It was defiantly in the air and getting closer, "A dragon?" said Tollin, looking at Roggie who shook his head.

"No," he answered, "too quiet!"

"Quiet!" exclaimed Smilog, "I'd hate to see a Dragon then!" At that moment, a large, blue and white helicopter flew into view and began hovering above the three of them, blowing dust and ash all around and making them feel uncomfortable. A large megaphone was lowered out of the bottom of it and a loud, but not too commanding, voice came out of it.

"Is this your mountain?" it asked.

"Yes!" answered Roggie, "But it's not supposed to have wheels, you see!" Fortunately, his natural Balrogian lungs made his voice loud enough to go over the sound of the helicopter. There was a moment of silence while the people in the helicopter discussed things.

"I am officer Jim," they said at last, "your vehicle is illegally parked across 900 disabled parking spaces!" He paused for effect, "in accordance with police code 9 4 5 6 2 section c-"

"'No officer may be caught wearing an orange toupee?'" said another voice, "I think you mean section b."

"Yes, 'b'" said Jim, "it doesn’t matter. I'm going to have to ask you to move it or it'll be clamped!"

Tollin raised his head and spoke into Roggie's ear. He nodded and shouted, "Do you have a big enough clamp?" there was silence from the police for a few moments.

"Yes?" came the unsure voice of Jim, "And if we don't we will open fire, just for the heck of it!" Smilog didn't like the sound of this and waved to the other two that they should continue on their journey. "Hey!" cried Jim, "don't walk away! I've not finished with you yet!" but they continued on their way, walking towards Sauron's road.
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:55 AM   #118
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Alli dismounted her vehicle, leaving it parked inconveniently in the middle of nowhere, and led the trio away. They walked in silence, Alli slightly ahead and the others trailing behind, for perhaps five minutes.

"How much further is it, pray?" Bearugard voiced. "We are not accustomed to lengthy walks."

"This is hardly lengthy," Alli replied without looking back. "Still... we should have been there by now."

Her voice belied no insecurity, but a small wave of panic rushed over the three Gondorians. What if even their guide were lost in these lands?

"Ah, there it is after all," she said, pointing to a small tavern. The three gazed at it. It seemed like an oasis of rationality in this nation of nonsense. The pub sign showed a small hammer. The roof was low and thatched, the walls wattled, the door solidly wooden of Gondorian stock. This could be a home away from home. Never mind the casino to the left and the school to the right (Gondorian children these days were denied education as a matter of course).

They entered the building. Angawen at least could not help but expect the interior to be horribly perverted in some Mordorian way - such was the nature of Mordor. It could not possibly possess something so Gondorian. But the innards of the building reflected its outer appearance.

Alli smiled at the Gondorians before choosing a seat. Bearugard and Hyarmenwë smiled back, clearly relaxing.

Angawen pursed her lips. Nothing in Mordor could be this normal. She looked around suspiciously. She awaited something - she didn't know what; perhaps an event, or a person, or an object - that would thwart the normalcy around her. But nothing seemed forthcoming.

Reluctantly, she settled into her chair and tuned in to the conversation.

"-want to order?" Alli finished.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:02 PM   #119
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"Aren't you a bit domineering for a chorus-girl? It doesn't suit you, m'dear. What you need is some old-fashioned patriarchal treatment-someone should, oh, I don't know, carry you off on horseback and imprison you on some desolate farm, guarded by a wise-cracking cynic and a gentle giant. That ought to drill some winsome submission into you..."

Lola lifted an eyebrow delicately in Dracomir's direction as she walked down the dim passage way, heels clicking against the stone floor.

"Aww...," she said, reaching over and pinching his cheek, as one might a child's. "You're such a cutie, baby..."

She let him go, ignoring the look of outraged pride on his thin face, her gaze returning to their path. "And you've been living in Gondor far too long. You're home now! Back in Mordor! Don't you remember rampant feminism?" Or are you too caught up in old-fashioned male chauvinism? she thought.

"Besides," she continued, accompanying this statement with a toss of her honey-blond mane. "I'm not a chorus-girl. I'm a Diva."

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Old 06-20-2006, 12:04 PM   #120
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"There it is!" cried Smilog, as the helicopter got closer, sending dust and ash flying all around, "Lets get there quick!" they all dashed over the rocks and boulders towards the Road Sauron had made to the Crack of DOOM! Smilog slipped down a small pseudo cliff and scrapped his knee, but Tollin and Roggie leaped over him and almost didn't notice him. Eventually, Tollin picked up the Dwarf and ran towards the road.

The helicopter swooped down and officer Jim hung out of the side holding a large machine gun and proceeded to fire randomly towards the three. Fortunately, the dust cloud had made it almost impossible to be able to aim properly, but he still managed to hit Smilog in the shoulder. Roggie turned to look towards the helicopter, he then stretched forth his shadow in order to further hide them from sight.

At that moment, a large black creature screeched through the air, breaking the glass of the helicopter. It was a great shadow, and it descended like a falling cloud. It was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank. A creature of an older world maybe it was, whose kind, lingering in forgotten mountains cold beneath the Moon, outstayed their day, and in hideous eyrie bred this last untimely brood, apt to evil.

It swooped down and picked up Roggie and Tollin (who was holding Smilog) and lifted them up into the sky, just past the police copter. Further and further they went up into the sky, Mount Zoom becoming smaller below them and the Police slowly following. They broke through the clouds and there beheld a sight they thought they would never see.

High and jagged marble walls and a large terrible tower, all seemed illuminated by a strange pale moonlight. Paler indeed than the moon ailing in some slow eclipse, was the light of it, wavering and blowing like a noisesom exhilaration of decay, a corpse-light, a light illuminated by nothing. In the walls and tower windows showed, like countless black holes looking inwards into emptiness; but the topmost course of the tower revolved slowly, first one way, then another, a huge ghostly head, leering into the night. In its four corners were great wires leading up and up towards the nine (or eight at the moment) fell beasts of the Nazgûl

This was Minas Mor-go, in flight and as terrible as ever. Smilog gulped and hid his face from the sight as the ninth beast flew right into the city and set them down. They were in a darkened street, empty and stinking of death and doom. Slowly, Roggie rose and peered around, not looking too pleased with the situation. All of a sudden, "Here," said a voice, deep and cold, which seemed to come out of the ground, "I am waiting for you!"

"Who are you?" asked Tollin, taking his Morning Star in hand, "Where are you? What are you? So on and so forth!" There was no reply at first, only a dead, sleepless silence, like the uncomfortable silence after mistaking your spouse’s grandfather for your grandmother. Then a large, green skinned, rotten figure rose from a hole in the ground. Or, rather, half rose and got stuck in the middle.

"Ah, not again!" it said, "You couldn't give me a hand, could you?" They did and saw that it was a man, but dead and rotten, with armour of the numenorians. "Thank you," he continued when he had dusted himself off, "I am a Barrow Wight!" Smilog walked up to him and examined his golden apparel.

"Smilog the Dwarf," he said, "at your service." The Barrow Wight slapped the dwarf across the face and then drew back.

"Sorry, old chap," said the confused Wight, "I don't know why I did that." Just then, the Police helicopter flew over the city and the Barrow Wight lead them into the tower. They went to the top where there were a series of controls. The Wight took the helm and began to drive the city through the air. The control room had windows looking in every direction. The city zoomed over the clouds while being chased by the Police. Gunshots could be heard and bits of marble chipped off and the Barrow Wight cursed. They flew down towards the beach and the LA Sea. Over the water they flew at inconsolable speed while the police copter still remained hot on their tail.

The Barrow Wight made a violent turn on the controls and the city turned smoothly around and then began to fly back up again. The police were left behind for a moment before they too flew upwards. The city climbed almost vertically and Tollin nearly fell out of a window. The City glided up and down across the LA skyline, twisting and turning between buildings while the Police copter remained on their tale. Swiftly, the Wight moved the controls back, moving the city up and up, getting steeper, they sent so steep that the city went upside down and ended up behind the police copter.

With a wide smirk, the Barrow Wight flipped open a small box to his side and pressed the button it revealed. Small goblins were fired out of catapults toward the copter, smashing through its metal work and sending the blue flying machine into the sea. Moving faster than lighting, the Wight moved the city back above the clouds and turned it around and began to descend back towards Mount Zoom.

"Sorry about that, chaps," said the Wight, "jolly good show, though, don't you think?"

"I think I'm going to be sick," said Smilog.

“Why help us?” asked Roggie, “and what are you doing in Minas Mor-go? Isn’t it the Witch King’s vehicle?”

“Well, my dear old thing,” coughed the Wight, “the Witch King was destroyed at Pelenor. After the war of the Ring, Morgul was left mostly ignored by the Gondorians. Yes, they occasionally came for visits, but in the end they forgot about its full power! But we Barrow Wights, while on a holiday, came across it and tried to see if the legends were true, that this marvellous thing could be used as a racing machine. We got together some fell beasts, some wire and tally ho! We were off! But we wanted to use the Mor-go machine for good.”

“Do you know of project zoom?” asked Smilog,

“Of course, old bean! That’s why we were following it. We wanted to destroy all the Zoom projects around Middle Earth (ending with this thing, obviously) in case they fell into the wrong hands. Already we have gotten rid of Minas Tax, Medel Zoom, Orth Tank and last week we did Barad dash! Mount Zoom was the prise, my dear fellow! We were just getting ready to work on it, when it up and rolled away! We did the only thing we could, we got our Mor go out and chased it all the way here.”

“But why did you rescue us?” asked Roggie, “thank you for that, by the way.”

“Oh, not at all, my dear fellow,” the Wight pored himself some tea, “I knew it was you, Roggie, who was running the casino and that in the Mountain. And you, Smilog, I knew about your father, of course. Poor thing. Anyway, we got here just in time it seems. Who is driving the Zoom project?”

“We do not know,” answered Tollin, “we are trying to find out. We need to get ot the crack of doom before it’s too late!”

“Then you had better take these,” said the Wight, signalling to another who had just entered. He gave them strange packs. “Just pull the little string there and you’ll glide down to the Mountain. Have a jolly, trip! Tally ho!”

Last edited by Hookbill the Goomba; 06-20-2006 at 01:58 PM.
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