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Old 05-26-2006, 10:37 AM   #41
the guy who be short
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The conversation died down as all three diplomats pondered the possibility of discrediting Malfoidacil. The relative quiet was broken by Bearugard, who said softly "Surely Mardil would not choose to send Malfoidacil if he had not the utmost confidence in the boy? This is a vital mission; he cannot afford to send the untrustworthy."

Angawen laughed to herself, though her face remained as blank as virgin snow. Hyarmenwë was here for his loyalty, she knew that. But she... Mardil knew she held no allegiance to the Kingdom or to him. But then, she supposed, he must also have known that while it was favourable, she would remain by his side. And he knew conditions would be favourable for a while yet. What better manner to command loyalty than to appeal to her self-preservation and promotion?

But this Bearugard, he was a mystery. She did not know him to be especially loyal, though she knew little about him. "Mardil is not omniscient," she replied aloud. "Still... I do not see the boy outsmarting him."

Hyarmanwë, meanwhile, was also stuck in thought. Send the untrustworthy rang through his head. Send the dinosaurs, the men of yesterday. It was entirely possible that the entire envoy had been to rid Mardil of undesirable elements. He was too archaic, Angawen too inituituve - not to mention a woman! Malfoidacil could have been sent for the very reason that they now doubted him - a suspicion that his loyalties lay without the Kingdom. Bearugard puzzled him as he puzzled Angawen. But Hyarmanwë, though he felt this information important, did not share it with the others. The thought of his being considered inadequate disquieted him, and he did not will to offend the others.

"Of course he couldn't!" Bearugard replied.

With that matter shoved aside (though persistantly nagging), Angawen allowed another thought that had been waiting to rise for a while now bubble up.

"Is it not injust that we are held here without the slightest indication concerning the current diplomatic predicament?" she began, and the other two swivelled round to face her, shaken out of their own thoughts. "We have been told nothing about the potential duration of our stay. We could be long term prisoners here. Prisoners in Mordor."

Hyarmanwë's mind leapt back to his disposal theory. Would Mardil care? "What could we possibly do about it, Lady? We are held here with guards posted at each end of the corridor. We must await Lady Alli."

"We cannot allow ourselves to be held infinitely. To do so would be to allow that woman to manipulate us most dreadfully."

"Come now!" said Bearugard, "you're just upset that she made a joke of you."

Angawen expertly ignored him and continued "Do what you may, I shall not stand this dishonour. This is not how ambassadors from a greater realm should be treated. In Gondor, we would have more respect."

****

Angawen approached the two guards at the end of the corridor followed closely by her own men, and further behind by the two Gondorians. This was what she lived for.

Upon approaching the guards, her immediate reaction was to recoil, and it was with utmost self-control that she overcame the desire. One of those guards was an ordinary, moustached, red-faced man holding a spear. The other was an orc.

What a land this was! Orc and man side by side! She barely kept her composure, retching inside. But she forced herself to take it in her stride. She had resolved herself in her room - no more emotion.

Carefully ignoring the orc, she addressed the man. "You! Guard! Send a message to Lady Alli! I wish to see her at once."
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Old 05-26-2006, 08:25 PM   #42
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Anakron was a guest of Lord Roggie. As such, he had rooms separate, and close to, those of the most important individuals present at the Mount Doom Casino and Resort. And there was the matter of easy, quiet, and relatively secret access to and from the place of meeting. Things had been arranged.

Anakron left his rooms and entered the hallway, just in time to see one red-dressed vampish ambassador enter the chamber where discussions would be held.

His own black cloak flowing behind him, his tall and wide brimmed hat securely placed, his eyes would be seen as mere slits. His staff upon which sat the most regal Siamese Cat, kept time with every other left step. He turned the corner and entered the room.

The vamp was exuding sex appeal from a table, the foot of her crossed leg pumping suggestively. A piece of work indeed. Anakron wondered how much work. He gave out an "ahem", which served to give a rather rakish man the chance to pick his jaw up off the floor and regain some semblance of composure, pulling his eyes away from the attention grabber in red.

"Anakron," he announced. "Grand Anakronist and all that. Here to observe. Carry on."

With that, he swept into the room and removed himself to a corner of the room, behind the vamp, which gave him full view of the other ambassadors. The others' looks of suspicion, confusion, curiosity, and forced condescension, quickly gave way to disregard. Anakron preferred it that way.

He hoped Panakeia would not be too upset over the cancellation of their most recent plans. It was beginning to get annoying. He wondered if it had been unwise to attach himself to a woman, no matter how charming and winsome; and interesting. But when they were together, time flew. He forgot that he was grand anakronist. He forgot about himself entirely, and it was Valinor to do so; or so he assumed, having never been there. Maybe I ought to convey Valinor to Mordor. No, likely some bit of Mordor would infest Valinor in return, and we musn't have that. As he watched the others, his mind wandered now and again to Panakeia, and it was most satisfying; almost as good as being with her in person.

He wondered how long it would be before the proceedings began, stifling a yawn.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 05-27-2006 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:49 PM   #43
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No sooner had Dracomir whipped out his strange, yellow plastic toy than Lola arrived and he dropped it. Skittles watched it curiously as it rolled and bounced across the floor, then watched with even more curiosity as Dracomir retrieved it and made it disappear. She didn't find anything odd in this, being both insane and from Mordor, but she did think it was awfully cool. As Dracomir deserted her for the voluptuous Lola, Skittles turned her attention to trying out the neat trick on a switchblade.

"Evanesco," she said, waving her fingers over the blade. Nothing happened, which made her angry, so she tossed the blade across the room. It sailed out the open door and lodged in the windpipe of an orc who had chosen that inopportune moment to happen by. He staggered to the side, gurgling black blood, and as he fell to the floor he dropped the crate of nitroglycerin lolly-pops he was carrying to Roggie's chambers for afternoon snack.

KA-BOOM!

Everyone jumped as the Orc went up in flames just outside the meeting room. They peered out in horror at the blackened, charred remains smoking on the cracked marble floor. They shivered at the senseless loss of life, each thinking how it could have been them. Also, the wainscoting was absolutely ruined.

Anakron turned to scowl at Skittles, and she smiled guiltily.

"Evanesco," she squeaked, and ran out of the room.
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:25 PM   #44
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Lola laughed cheerfully at Skittles' antics and the welcome distraction they proved. She had no intention of giving Malfoidacil the joy of her arm, or any other personal attention, and Roggie was always so much more fun when he was a little impatient anyway.

Malfoidacil was, for some reason, sputtering, and Lola found it delightfully nonsensical, and told him so. "B-B-But she can't do that," he protested. "She's insane! She can't just say the word and be sure she's disappeared!"

"How do you know?" Lola asked reasonably, too reasonably, eyes sparkling with mischief. "For all we know, she did turn that knife invisible."

"No she didn't!! Obviously she didn't!! I could see it, so could you!"

Lola yawned. "Now I see why you returned to Gondor. Poor boy! Who cares if we saw it? The orc never did..." Malfoidacil was boring her, and she turned her attention to the strict looking man behind her. The Grand Anakronist himself...what fun that could be! She stretched languidly, lifting her hands high over her head to accentuate her slim figure, and giving her neck the tiny shake she knew would send a ripple down the length of her platinum curls.

"Why are you standing back there, Anakron? Enjoying the view?"
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Old 05-28-2006, 09:23 PM   #45
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Anakron gave her a measuring look, homing in on her eyes. It was known in diplomatic circles that Lola was liked. That is, she had an uncanny ability to get what she wanted from whom she wanted it, when, and how. Anakron could see that she was fully skilled in at least one means of attaining her goals, at least in terms of the opposite sex. Such things had ceased to work on him long ago, however. Should he allow her to realize this, he mused? He decided that he would rather allow her to know that her escapades of allure were almost repulsive to him, but not in so many words. Thusly, he would afford himself the chance to see what other weaponry her arsenal contained. It could be most useful to know about that.

"Your insinuation, my lady, is beneath your dignity, one would hope," Anakron murmured casually. "Be that as it may," he continued, "I find your - ah - shall we say - epicurean approach to diplomatic preparation - energies misspent if aimed in my direction; however," he went on, "I find the - ah - view, as you put it, of your efforts as regards other personages - to be most educational. With all due respect, of course.

"Why do you ask, my lady?"
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:55 AM   #46
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Smilog walked alongside his new associate, although he still eyed him with some suspicion and disliking. He smiled too much for a man in Mordor, and still too much for a man in general. The Dwarf stayed quiet though, the prospect of a never-ending mountain of gold was something he couldn't just let pass by.

They soon found the stairs and climbed them. They were dark and wet, covered in slime and smelling of something that was... well... urgh! At every opportunity, Smilog leant out of a window to draw breath; the stench nearly knocked him down with his nose held. Andvarri seemed to bare it quite well, although his smile had now disappeared and a stern look had appeared.

"Not long to go now," said the man, "I do wish they would clean these stairs every now and again."

"They do," came a voice from below, they looked and saw a small Orc with an apron and a mop, he continued, "I'm doing the annual cleaning of the stairs. I forgot about it last year, but hay, I'm a busy Orc! Now, be off with you!"

Hurriedly, they dashed up to the top of the stairs, taking care not to slip on the slime, which is what the Orc appeared to be 'cleaning' with. Once out of the stairwell, the two of them went to a large door that had Roggie's name written in many languages on the front.

"I'd better knock," said Smilog, "I am one of his advisers, anyway. The lazy good for nothing pile of Orc vomit!" A small pile of Orc vomit that was near by was quite upset by this statement and squelched off to cry in a corner.

"I'd better be out of sight," said Andvarri, "Roggie isn't used to new faces."

"Oh yeah? He's had at least three face lifts!"

"You know what I mean. Anyway. This could be difficult." Andvarri slipped behind a pillar as Smilog knocked on the door.

"No thank-you!" came the cry from within, "We don't want anymore visitors, well wishers or distant relations!"

"And what about very angry Dwarves?" retorted Smilog with his hands on his hips and his eyes like green fire. There was a silent pause, then the sound of some moving behind the door, and finally it opened. A huge red boxing glove flew out and hit Smilog square on the chin and he fell back into the opposite wall.

"Ow!" he said as the door closed, "Have you got any bright ideas?" he asked Andvarri.
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Old 05-29-2006, 04:12 AM   #47
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"Skittles!" Maika yelled after the witch-wannabe ambassador of Mordor. But apparently the explosion had weakened her hearing, or perhaps she pretended not to hear, or maybe she was running away from Anakron or Dracomir. Whichever the case, Skittles's childish mischievousness was delaying them. Maika wanted to leave right away and go visit Roggie to get this whole thing over with -- or to finally prove if the face cream was effective?

Maika shot a stern look at the still wide-eyed Dracomir. The boy was annoying her immensely; this was his fault. And wasn't he supposed to be a civilized Gondorian? Not that the Mordorians were uncivilized, but, well, she had always imagined that all Gondorians carried themselves more decently. Or something. She resisted the growing compulsion to walk over to the charred remains of the poor Orc and see if there could be some of those nitro-pops left so she could pop them forcibly into Dracomir's mouth.

Suddenly aware of her increasing anger, Maika forced herself to calm down, and think about what could be done. There was no way she was running after Skittles, not in stilettos. Lola and Anakron were engaged in something...something her nineteen-year-old mind was not meant to comprehend. Maika turned openly towards Dracomir, who looked at her quizzically in reply.

"Let's see what else you can do," she declared, her tone of voice dangerously provocative. "Create a diplomatic solution to this mess you've made."

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Old 05-29-2006, 05:20 AM   #48
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Pleased at Alli's response to his information, Igör sidled out of the room again and fast-limped back to the Gondorians quarters. Boringly, nothing of much interest occurred along the way. It was one of those lovely, sunny days that were so rare in Mordor, which suffered from a phenomenon known as English weather, so everyone without a job to do was outside enjoying it, as well as some of those that did have jobs and were happily engaging in a bit of skiving.

Fortunately for Igör, this included the two guards Angawen had left to keep her rooms defended. Wandering in as casually as possible for someone so habitually noticeable, he closed the door behind him and stood in the middle of the room in thought. He couldn't know which room the Gondorians would talk in. It could be here, the old man's room or the boy's room. He needed to find a way to eavesdrop on all three room at once.

Leaving the right side of his brain musing quietly about that, Igör brought the left side to the fore and began searching the room for anything that might tell him why Angawen was chosen by Mardil to come on this mission. He wondered whether it was just for amusement's sake, as the woman was obviously uncomfortable with the whole experience, snapping at him like she had. His search proved fruitless though.

Bringing his right brain back into action Igör was pleased to note that it had found a way around this problem. Angawen and Hyarmenwë had rooms right next to each other, and while Bearugard's was next in line it joined onto Angawen's at the back as well. So, if a small hole was made in each wall, and something placed by it, everything said in each room could be heard. Smiling, Igör pulled a knife from one of his skin pockets, climbed up onto a chair and did just that. He then carefully removed his left ear, as it was slightly better with long distances, and attached it to the wall in the middle of the holes, by means of a piece of chewing gum, stored in another pocket for occasions such as these.

Jumping down again Igör replaced the chair, and watched with satisfaction as his ear camouflaged itself so it was the same colour as the wall. He couldn't recall where he had gained this ability, but is had proved useful in more than one situation. Making sure he left the room in exactly the same condition as it had been when he arrived, Igör crept back out through the doors and along the corridor back to the negotiation room.

He had to stop creeping when a blur of leather hit him and he crashed to the ground with whatever was inside the leather writhing on top of him, apparently under the belief that it was being attacked. Managing to grab an arm before the knife held by it's hand skewered him, Igör found himself looking up into the confused and insane face of Skittles.

"Skittles? Aren't you supposed to be going to see Roggie?"

He waited a few moments for an answer, but when nothing was forthcoming aside from some vague comment along the lines of "But you can't see me! I'm invisible!" he gave up and took a penknife from another pocket. Showing it to Skittles he promised her that she would get it if she showed him the way to the conference room and, eyes shining at the prospect of sharp things to play with, she led him back the way she had come.

Following her through the doors Igör found himself in the midst of an argument, with Maika issuing what sounded like a dangerous ultimatum to Malfoidacil over the situation he had apparently created with Skittles.

"Create a diplomatic solution to this mess you've made."

"No need!" He called brightly, attempting to calm things down a little. "Skittles is right here. Now, are we going to see Roggie or not? I seem to recall that he doesn't like to be kept waiting."
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:20 AM   #49
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Lûgnût screeched up to the gates of the Mount Doom Palace and Casino. The Hummer's engine had hardly stopped humming before Panakeia bounded out the door, a stormy expression on her face. The journey from Lûndûn had not been pleasant. Despite the deference granted their official vehicle, they still encountered the traffic jams, construction and road rage typical of a Mordor highway. The unpleasantness of the trip was compounded by Panakeia's dislike of Lûgnût and his/her/its constant blather about how many procedures were being broken by her unexpected journey. She didn't care about protocol. Her future with Anakron, the only true love she had ever known, was at stake. Regulations could go to Mordor, she thought, before recalling that they already were in Mordor. Her scowl deepened.

Panakeia strode up to one of the Palace guards, Lûgnût following a few feet behind. Where, she demanded to know, were the negotiations taking place? She was a member of the Grand Anakronist's party and needed to join him at once. A glare in Lûgnût's direction silenced any protest of her claims by him/her. Directions given, she pushed ahead without a word, contemplating what she would say to Anakron.

She didn't want to be angry. Experience told her that anger was the least effective way to deal with Anakron. He wouldn't understand, and would most likely dismiss her anger as unjustified hysteria. And maybe she was being unreasonable. Anakron was an important official, after all. He had responsibilities. She knew that when they began their relationship. As she pondered their beginnings at the end of the battle with A Slan, the werewolves, Anakron's death and return to the living, Panakeia's anger faded. Yes, she did love him. It would be enough, she decided, to see Anakron. That was all she really wanted. Now that she was here, they could meet after the day's negotiations concluded. The restaurants in the old Resort had been excellent. Roggie's reconstruction, she was sure, would not have neglected so essential an item. Their plans would not be disturbed too badly after all.

Panakeia reached the conference room. Her hand went to the doorknob, and a smile crossed her face in anticipation of seeing Anakron. She pushed the door ajar --- and saw red in every sense of the phrase. A blonde in a scarlet gown (too tight and revealing for a proper lady, Panakeia thought) perched on a table, evidently very trying her best to capture every man present in her snares. And succeeding. Panakeia was sure that Anakron was staring at the woman, and the fire heating her temper went from simmer to high. Unwilling to compromise her ladylike dignity, she swallowed the insults for the vamp that rose in her throat and addressed Anakron in a cool, level voice.

"Anakron. May I speak to you? Alone?"

Anakron's eyes widened slightly at the sudden entrance of the most unexpected Panakeia, dressed to the nines, which he rather approved of, though he thought that she should perhaps have used a little bit of make-up, but he certainly wasn't going to tell her how to perform her toilette. He had been expecting Skittles to re-enter, and found the sudden appearance of Panakeia quite pleasant by comparison.

"Of course." He stood, aware that the ambassadors gathered in the room were watching the two of them with sudden curiosity. Out in the hall, he turned and faced her. She seemed most put out over something. Anakron wondered if some Mordorian orc had done something overly anachronistic and bureaucratic and she had come all this way to complain to the grand anakronist himself. She certainly could have clout if she wanted it, but she either never thought of it, or did not consider it something she wished to involve herself in.

She was staring up at him, her arms crossed in front of her, a look of growing impatience on her face, her foot tapping.

You look ravishing, my dear. He thought of saying it, but thought it inappropriate in the current setting. "What?" he asked, a little ill at ease with how curt his voice sounded.

Panakeia shifted uncomfortably. Anakron's voice sounded terse, a bit short. But why? Was he upset over her arrival? Unhappy to see her? And that blonde - who was she? Was she the reason for Anakron's coldness? Panakeia trembled at the thought of losing Anakron to a mere vamp. But one question at a time, the most easily answered first.

"What?" she echoed in a trembling voice. "I came all the way from Lûndûn, and all you can say is 'what'? Not even a hello? Aren't you glad to see me?" She carefully avoided the crucial question of the woman in the red dress, hoping that Anakron would volunteer a satisfactory explanation before she needed to ask.

Anakron closed his eyes momentarily and felt tautness in his face, felt the muscle below his left eye twitch, and his lips draw down. Stress. He managed a smile so quick it probably looked like a grimace.

"Hello." He swallowed. "Of course I'm glad to see you."

He wanted to reach up and caress her face, smooth away the fear in her eyes, but it would not be appropriate here, with the powerful and influential casting glances their way. He kept his hand at his side.

"This is about our-" He couldn't bring himself to say the word here in this public place, that anakronistic word, date. "-arrangement. I'm sorry I had to break it. It couldn't be helped. These negotiations-" He left his sentence unfinished, nodding toward the room they had just left, willing her to understand.

Panakeia was now convinced of Anakron's displeasure. Despair began to work its way into her thoughts. That odd expression on his face couldn't have been anything other than distaste. Distaste. It couldn't be so. She longed to pour out her fears to Anakron. To be told, with a brush of fingers to her hair, that she was being silly, and to laugh at her foolishness after his reassurance.

But she couldn't. She thought again of the broken dates, of the woman on the other side of the door, and anger mingled with pride took possession of her actions. "Negotiations? Is that what you call this little business?" She pointed at the door. An empty laugh escaped her lips, and Panakeia was startled at the harshness of its echo in the hallway. "Oh yes. It all looked quite diplomatic, especially your friend sitting on the table. Most diplomatic. Is she the head ambassador? Of what nation, pray tell?" No sooner had the words been spoken then she regretted giving them voice. But they could not be undone. Panakeia stiffened, fighting the impulse to apologize.

Anakron was stunned. He stared at Panakeia. Was this the same woman he had found so engaging? So captivating? Jealous of a mere tramp whose dress declared to the world, 'I am using sex to get my way'? Anakron couldn't believe it. For the first time in a long time Anakron spoke before he had thought.

"Maybe I shouldn't be involved with any woman."

As soon as the words were out, he winced. How had he let himself say that? Of all the wrong times to say a thing, this was the wrongest. Anakron didn't even care that his thought was constructed in bad grammar. He waited for the inevitable bad reaction, flinching inside.

Shouldn't be involved with any woman? That last phrase stung Panakeia to the quick. Anakron did have doubts about her. That explained everything from the continually broken dates to his indifferent greeting, and she suddenly felt a drop slipping down the side of her face. Not wanting Anakron to see her tears, Panakeia spun on her heel and fled from his gaze. After wandering for a while, mourning Anakron's rejection, remorse for her rash words gnawing at her conscience, she found a bench in a lonely corner of the Palace and burst into sobs of misery.
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:17 PM   #50
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“Can I have the pocketknife now?” Skittles asked, as Anakron’s girlfriend fled sobbing down the hall.

“Oh, yes, here you go,” said Igör, handing it over. This was perhaps not the wisest thing to do, but Igör had promised and he could not lie, so from freak to freak the knife went.

“Score!” Skittles said, inspecting the handle. “This is part of a limited-edition set of classic Disney pocketknives! I have all the others, but never could get ahold of Mickey-Mouse!” She pocketed the pocketknife (naturally) and gave Igör an enthusiastic pat on the back. “Thanks paleeoh!”

One of Igör’s eyes popped loose and went bouncing over to stare up at Dracomir, and Igör rushed over to pick it up before the Gondorian either smashed or evanesco’ed it. He plucked it from between Dracomir’s feet with a murmured apology and blew some dust and hair from it before reinserting it.

When he turned around, Skittles was nowhere to be seen, and he frowned. Anakron had rentered the room and sat down, looking rather gloomy, and Igör shot an encouraging smile his way. Half his face was still frozen into the frown, as it was rather hard to change expressions on the dot. Anakron caught the look and shifted away, trying not to look disgusted.

Meanwhile, Skittles was on her way again. She carried on an engaging conversation with Mickey as she wended her way down the many ominous, twisting, gothic halls in the Palace. She knew that she had an appointment with Roggie, and intended to visit him, but she felt like taking the scenic route to his chamber. She also knew that she was expected to travel with the others Alli had asked to speak with Roggie, but frankly all they seemed interested in doing was sitting around, looking at each other, and waiting for something to happen. Correction: looking at Lola. She found all this terribly boring, so struck out on her own and figured that the longer she wandered before finally turning up at Roggie’s door, the more likely the others would be there as well.

As fate would have it, soon she heard a quiet whimpering from a particularly dark and lonely corner, and pocketed Mickey to go investigate. She didn’t want to sully her new blade with blood, so she got out one of her trusty switchblades.

She found Pancake, that lady who had come to see Anakron, curled up in a tight little ball of misery on a bench underneath a pool table in a deserted billiard room, and so she hopped on top the table. Hanging herself upside down to get a good view of the pancake-lady, she said. “Hello there. Why so sad?”

“Oh go away,” the woman sniffled.

“Awww, whatsamatter, Pancake, hon? Why does the lady cry?”

“Panakeia,” she said between gulps, her upper lip stiffening slightly at the opportunity to correct someone. “My name is Panakeia.”

“What did the mean man say to you, eh?” Skittles cooed. “Nasty, mean Anakronism Conveyor. Want that I should hurt him? I make him sorry....”

“No, I should not like that,” said Panakeia, though Skittles thought she could detect the slightest bit of hesitation. “And please do not talk to me as if I am a baby. Really. I am old enough to be your mother, by the looks of you.”

Skittles affected a pout and made a clucking noise in her throat. “I wouldn’t hurt him much. Just enough to make him sorry.”

“No, thank you,” Panakeia said, firmly this time. She crawled out from under the pool table and straightened, fighting to regain a little dignity.

Skittles sighed. “So much for hell hathing no fury,” she muttered. “Okay, suit yourself.” She swung herself down from the table and shrugged. She sauntered out of the room, but paused in the doorway and inspected her fingernails, saying carelessly, “I could put itching powder in his trunk.”

“No,” Panakeia was unmovable. “If I want to put itching powder in his trunk I am quite capable of doing it myself, thank you.”

“Awright,” Skittles capitulated, and then decided to sprint down the hallway at full speed and see how far she could run up the wall before doing a backflip. She was quite pleased with the result.

Last edited by Diamond18; 05-29-2006 at 09:26 PM. Reason: italics
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:37 PM   #51
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Anakron stood transfixed in the hallway, watching Panakeia disappear from view. Should I go after her? Don't be silly, you can do no such thing. Negotiations are underway, or soon will be, and you need to be here. What to do about Panakeia though? He sighed. Give her time. She'll come around. He did not believe himself.

He was aware of pairs of eyes from various onlookers in the hallway, as well as those in the room, all of whom had been listening to the whole thing. Anakron frowned in disgust as he thought of Lola watching it all in her wicked delight. Things had not started well at all.

He turned and entered the room again, willing the whole predicament to a corner of his mind to be dealt with later. He resumed his chair, noticing but not giving response to the stares of those in the room. He put up his legs in a fashionably Strideresque manner - the story was well known and the look quite becoming - threw his hood over his head, and stared balefully at the others, waiting for something - like Skittles - to happen.

He couldn't keep Panakeia out of his mind. What had that been all about? The canceled date, to be sure. Hadn't it? Surely it wasn't really about this Lola woman, and petty jealousies. Surely not! Not if Panakeia was the woman he knew her - well - believed her to be. Suddenly things were not nearly as clear as they had been. What in Mordor had it been about? His mind ran in circles as he watched the others.
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Old 05-30-2006, 03:28 AM   #52
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Smilog sat on the floor, nursing his bruised chin. His voice now slured and he drooled uncontrollably. "Cruss that drated creaturr!" he slured, "I'll gif him what forr!"

"You talk but do nothing," said Andvarri, "We need to get in there as soon as possible and get the... the thing."

"I've been meaning to assssk," said Smilog as he rose, "whath isss the thhing thhat Roggie holdsss? Jussst ssso I know whatt tto look for."

"Well," Andvarri began, but he soon grew silent and scratched his chin, "its not so much 'what' as ... 'who'."

"You're going to kidnap him?" spat Smilog, his chin healing a little.

"No, no, no!" cried Andvarri folding his arms. Their eyes met, like two armies that collide in a violent fray that causes far much more blood shed than there is blood in the soldiers. "Okay, we are. But-"

"I don’t want to hear it!" Smilog stomped around, "I'm not getting thrown into a Mordor jail! Do you know what they do to you in those things?"

"Call me old fashioned, but I had planned on not getting caught." Andvarri smirked and walked towards the door of Roggie. "Now, are you going to help me?" Smilog thought about it for a moment, and soon all the memories of Roggies past orders to him came flooding back. If two short memories can be classed as a flood, for Roggie had only ever asked him for two things in the past; to pass him the salt once and to hurry up when walking towards the black Jim table in the casino (Black Jack hadn’t been invented yet).

"What choice do I have?" mumbled Smilog with a frown, "Alright, I'll help you. But if we get caught, I will dinie ever knowing you or anything to do with you! got that?" Andvarri nodded and opened the door. Before Smilog could follow him in, the door slammed shut and Andvarri was heard inside talking to someone.

"Now! Roggie, the time has come to-" began the man,

"Who are you? How dare you! Go away!" cried the obvious voice of Roggie, "Guards!"

"The guards won't help you! I'll-" Andvarri began, yet before his sentence was even two syllables old there was the sound of banging and crashing. Smilog shoved the door open and all he saw was Andvarri face down in a shopping trolley full of ham hurtling along a grease-covered track into a wall under a window. Andvarri flew out of the trolley when it hit the wall and smashed out of the newly placed stained glass picture of Roggie holding a large cricket bat.

The gold promising man plummeted out of the window and down, down into deep dark. "No!" cried Smilog, "The map! The Gold!"

"Who are you?" said Roggie, "And what do you want?"

"What do you mean, 'who am I'?" said Smilog, turning quickly to the stumpy little man, "I'm Smilog, one of your advisors! I passed you the salt once."

"Oh! Yes! I remember you! So what? Go away! Unless you like ham..." he pointed over to the shopping trolley with and impatient look in his eyes.

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Old 05-30-2006, 08:39 PM   #53
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Sniffling and rubbing her nose with a piece of disintegrating Kleenex, Panakeia watched Skittles scurry and backflip out of the billiards room. Panakeia had come to accept that oddity reigned in Mordor, but this insane child was the oddest thing she had encountered yet. Except for her own placement under a pool table. Panakeia couldn't remember entering the room, much less huddling under furniture. Of course, in her distraction over Anakron, anything was possible. She couldn't really remember anything clearly between Anakron's last words to her and Skittles' dangling over the edge of the table.

Panakeia burst anew into tears at the memory of Anakron's harshness. She knew that some of the fault was her own. Her insinuations about the blonde were entirely unjustified, and not even relevant to her visit. Not in the least. She only wanted to speak with Anakron and to hear an explanation for his cancellations. But in her weariness and frustration, she foolishly had allowed the words to be spoken. And words were dangerous, perhaps even more dangerous than the switchblade she had spotted on her bizarre visitor.

But maybe, just maybe, it had all been for the best. Anakron clearly no longer cared for her. Better to know now than to wait through another year of dates and games, pleasant though the meetings would have been. They always were. Her lip quivered.

Of a sudden, Panakeia noted that the world looked as though she viewed it through the swirling waters of a fishbowl. A sound like that of a pipe-organ faintly echoed in her ears, and her gaze seemed to search far away. In other words, she was having a flashback.

~*~

Panakeia stood in a green field watching her father jump his horse as the horse jumped a hedge. He missed.

"Ouch!"

"Oh, father. You shouldn't be jumping horses."

"I'll not have me own daughter telling me what I shall jump and not jump. It's my own neck, so it is."

"Whatever."

"If anyone's to do the telling here, it's me that'll do it."

"Whatever."

"Just remember, Miss Panakeia O'Harad. Taräê - land - is the only thing worth fighting for - worth dying for! Except for prime-time advertising slots, which make an entirely different category altogether. D'ye understand me?"

"Whatever."

~*~

The music faded, and Panakeia stood glassy-eyed in its aftermath. Yes, that was the answer. Though her father's lectures often rambled and made little sense, particularly after a missed saddle left his wits scattered, sometimes he did make a good point. She would go back to Taräê. The tests to allow her egress from Mordor were passed a year ago. There was nothing to stop her from leaving. She would tell Anakron of her decision, and say her farewells to him. For the last time. The thought made her nose and eyes twitch. But tomorrow was another day. Anakron could hate her, but she would always care for him. And perhaps, when enough tomorrows had passed, he would regret leaving her. Then he would come to her. But he would be too late. She didn't need him. She didn't need anyone. She would survive, even if she used every box of Kleenex in Mordor, which was a distinct possibility; her tears were pouring again at the image of an aged, pitiable Anakron seeking his long lost love.

She would tell Anakron after the conference ended for the day. She would tell him, and then go home.
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Old 05-31-2006, 07:33 AM   #54
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Maika had sat back down on her pre-Alli's intrusion seat after Igör - whatever he was doing there - announed the return of Skittles...who just sped off again. She gently scratched her head, narrowly missing one of the chopsticks. It was getting increasingly difficult for her to keep her annoyance in check, and the awkward silence that followed the exchange between the Grand Anakronist and his girlfriend did not help matters. Maika exasperatedly threw both her hands up in the air and let gravity bring them down, which it did - towards the tabletop. The loud "Bang!" that ensued earned the surprised attention of everyone in the room.

The little young lady pushed her chair away from the table, silently cursing the gravity that reddened her knuckles without any help from Roggie, but from an innocent table, and stood up without bending in one fluid motion.

"Do you realize what we're doing?" She fought to keep her voice even, and walked towards the space between her two fellow ambassadors. Every step she took generated a soft tapping sound that was amplified by the silence in the room, lending her an aura of authority. Remember the moments before your terror of a mathematics or some other creepy class teacher distributed the exam papers? It was something like that.

"You mean aside from sitting around and waiting for Skittles to happen?" came a mutter from Anakron's direction. Maika threw a sideway glance at him, and continued.

"We're wasting our time, wasting our presence here, momentarily disobeying Alli, and procrastinating. No wonder we're all in Mordor."

Dracomir opened his mouth to protest but Maika cut him off, seeing the disapproving look on Lola's face - given by her slightly, seductively pouted lips.

"I like you, Lola," she sighed, effectively hiding her rolling eyes, "but can't you do...whatever it is you're doing...some other time? We have work to do."

With that she spun on her cigarette-thin heels and strode purposefully towards the door, letting them follow if they will. And if they won't, she felt quite confident that she and Skittles can handle it. If only she felt even just half as confident that she can find her. Maika wondered if it will help her to do cartwheels along the way.

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Old 06-04-2006, 09:01 AM   #55
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Roggie moped. His kingdom was falling into despair and he could do nothing about it, based upon the fact that a lot of his subjects were there against their will. He really needed to read Il Principe to get a grasp on how to control a potentially uproarious principality, but would you know it, he couldn't find a copy anywhere and he was woefully ignorant of Italian.

He sat on his throne in his audience chamber, looking at tapestries that were gifts from the mafia. Khamul had presented Roggie with those decorations that had hung in Dol Goldur before Galadriel and Celeborn had destroyed the place. Kammy had had them dry cleaned and sent the bill to Lothlorien before finding them a safe new home at Mount Doom. Elendil dead upon the ground, Isildur cringing like the worm he was, holding a broken blade, ready to take a cheap shot and stab Sauron's foot. Who injures lower extremities? What sort of a fair fight is that? Oh yeah, he thought angrily, Mardil.

Roggie rubbed his sore half-leg through his flame retardant breeches, cursing the King of Gondor and the cold virus that had frozen and shattered his leg. Mardil... Mardil that stole my leg. Mardil that stole my citizens. Mardil that plans to steal my kingdom.

Roggie stood, stretching, roaring his frustration and watching the tapestry go up in flames, burning into a small pile of ash on the floor. He glared into the large fireplace. He looked out the window and tried to spot the stranger he had so recently thrown out of it. No luck. The dwarf was also missing. Perhaps he'd taken the hint.

Perhaps he'd gone for reinforcements.

No... no, that will never do. War! Mardil will pay, and he will pay dearly.

With that thought, Roggie stalked to the back of his chamber, pressing a hidden stone into the wall and watching an entire wall shift to let him pass. It closed silently behind him and he was gone, having disappeared into the unending labyrinth of secret passageways through the volcano. They'll never find me here, he thought bitterly, making his way to his top military adviser. He wondered if he'd told her yet that she was... no matter. She would learn her new government position soon enough. And then... War.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:28 AM   #56
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Aimé woke up. He was lying on his back and he could barely see. "Where am I?" he groaned. Wow, did that sound hackneyed he thought to himself. "Fell clichés, will I ever avoid ye?" he said.

"Probably not" answered the girl standing over him. Aimé stared quizzically, wondering who she was, then smirked. She looked wonderful, and not just in contrast to the dank surroundings.

"And what do you have to smile at, mister?" she said. "You can't possibly be proud of yourself. What kind of man would treat me the way you did?" Seeing the completely oblivious look on the young man's face, the girl elaborated. "Those thugs? Those thugs last night, who tried to rob me? There were three of them and I still tried to fight them off, and what did you do?" Aimé tried to think. Probably tried to resolve the situation with the magic of his verbiage.

"I resolved it with my magical verbiage, didn't I?" he asked. The response was not quite what he expected; it was a glass bottle flung at his head. He ducked with all the skill of a professional dodger.

"You ran away and left me!" she screamed. "Now, I'm leaving this horrible place and I hope to never see you or anyone like you ever again."

"Sweetheart! Angel!" he shouted. "I got us here didn't I? And you're safe and well, and no harm came of it, right? And didn't we have a wonderful night?" He smiled his trademark killer smile.

It did not work (to Aimé's considerable puzzlement). "It was wonderful to the extent that I can be physically harrassed by bandits and be manipulated by a fraud under the influence of intoxication. Don't worry, I'll get home alright. I sold those little trinkets of yours to the Orc downstairs. I told him they were precious jewels from the tomb of Elrond Halfelven. Dear Eru! Your associates are dumb. Next time, if you want to impress a girl, show some courage."

"But I'm a lover, not a fighter."

"Pah!" she almost choked with laughter, and walked out the doorway.

Aimé, not noticing this attack on his 'skills', turned instead to his own problems (and by turning to his own problems, we must understand this as his focusing harder on his own problems than he had been previously, for he is extremely self-centred and prone to never thinking about anything other than his own problems). First of all, he was still in hiding; and while laying low was, at times, rollicking and fun, it was often cruel and hazardous. Second, he had a feeling that he had been drinking in order to forget something troubling. Something particularly worrisome. And what's more, he had a feeling that this forgotten thing was something really important. He'd had this feeling for the best part of a year. What did it all mean?

"Where am I?"
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:51 AM   #57
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As Smilog stood panting outside Roggies chamber, his back against the door, his eyes were as wide as the walls of Minas Tirith. There was only one possible explanation for Roggie's erratic and, quite frankly, irrational behaviour. It is this very reason that Smilog not only guesses, but loudly states to the nearest passing being...

"He's totally mad, isn't he?" he said to a rather large and seemingly friendly Orc who was dressed as a clown.

"Don't talk to me about him!" cried the clown Orc, "He calls this 'comedy Tuesday' and so my sector has to come here dressed as clowns."

"Its not Tuesday," Smilog pointed out, and almost immediately wished he hadn’t as the Orc then stormed off blurting out all kinds of insults and swearwords and some words that no one had ever heard before. Holding his breath, Smilog realised that he had better get back in there and convince Roggie to restart negotiations. If I can't handle him, he thought, what chance do the rest have?

He pushed open the door and rolled behind a table and cowered down, listening for Roggie. Yet he heard no sound. Smilog thought this terribly odd, so he peered over the edge of the table and saw that he was the only being in the room. Then he saw a rat dash across the floor and had to re think his status as 'only living thing in the room'. This revelation led Smilog to Roggie's desk to investigate. Indeed, his investigations brought him to the drinks cupboard and to Roggies stash of Gondor's finest Ale and wine.

What was more, he found a good store of pipe weed and a small bag of gold, all these things Smilog soon placed in his pockets. Except for the wine, he drank some of that and hid the rest in his pack. Now, the issue of Roggie, he thought, where has he got to?
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:15 PM   #58
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Decisively spurned by the luscious Lola, Dracomir simply pretended he had never initiated a conversation, like an agile white cat who has failed to make a jump, and licks its lips, pretending nothing has happened.

(Tom had received a modicum of Classical education at his Kensington day school, and Dracomir rather more at Hogwarts. In any case, he was familiar with the application of the Virgilian simile.)

"We're wasting our time, wasting our presence here, momentarily disobeying Alli, and procrastinating. No wonder we're all in Mordor." Maika stated. Dracomir was annoyed. Disdainful lines like that belonged, as of right, to him, and besides, he wasn't in Mordor, officially, and anyway Mordor was a state of mind, as the most cursory reading of Doctor Faustus showed. But before he could so much as start mouthing, Maika shut him up again with yet another curt utterance, tacitly backed by Lola. Really, this was too much.

Finally getting the opportunity to riposte, he unusually concluded that actions speak louder than words. Skittles had hared off again and for some bizarre reason, she was the only one currently being remotely amenable towards him, so, having enough of the current boorish company, as he convinced himself, he non-verbally established her location with the Four-Point Charm and apparated after her, arriving beside her with a loud crack.

"Couldn't be bothered to wait for that lot," he explained, affecting once more his faux-proletarian tones in order to sound hard. "C'mon-let's go and find Roggie."
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:50 PM   #59
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Lola sighed in agitation, throwing Anakron an exasperated glance. "Really," she muttered, just loud enough for him to hear. "That was incredibly dense." Then she hustled forward quickly enough to direct Maika towards the most circuitous route to Roggie's throne room she could think of. All her attempts to delay the proceedings were going to naught, due to Maika's impatience and Dracomir's ridiculous pride. Now she must resort to tricksier methods, and hope Alli (whom she considered a true friend) didn't get wind of it.

Frankly, Lola Martinet couldn't care less about the results of the 'negotiations'. She loved Mordor's chaos and impracticality fiercely, and would do anything to protect it, and in her mind, protection meant all those fools who didn't recognize the beauty of neon lights and triplicate forms were rightly the first to go. What was really the harm in them wandering off? Those who stayed away weren't assets to begin with, and the rest of the emigrants returned, chagrined, sick of being defensive of their glasses and manicures and hairdye and similes, and all the other things that made Mordor so unique among all the countries of Middle Earth.

And Roggie? Roggie was a silly fool, caught up in dreams and delusions of grandeur, unaware that his true grandeur was revealed in his towering, imposing form, and the noble flicker in his flaming eyes. He was, however, easily manipulated, and therefore useful. His current snit was the best method she could see for preserving the status quo. After all, it wasn't as though Mardil wanted any piece of Mordor for himself...

------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Maika quietly sighed in relief when she heard Lola's footsteps following behind her. Even without turning around to actually look, she noticed that Dracomir chose not to come with them. It bothered her a little, but he will go where he will. In any case she was glad that finally something was being done.

Only now that she was on her way to Roggie's throne room did the real significance of their mission occur to her. The fate of Gondor and Mordor and the poor unknown or little known or known-but-no-one-really-cares lands between them, if any, because having been in Mordor practically all her life she had no way of knowing, are in their hands. And she barely knew what to say once she was before His Hotness - what could they say to convince him? And speaking of hotness, there was her skin to worry about. With all these concerns slowly weighing on her mind she did not notice that she had fallen behind Lola, who was now leading the way. Maika did not mind. She concentrated on her aforementioned concerns which were enough to confuse her and thanked Eru (if she could - did Mordorians do that?) that Lola was there to worry about the directions. Maika blindly followed her, lost in her own thoughts. A foreboding silence fell on the two ladies.

Soon Maika returned from her seeming out-of-body experience, which kind of sounded cooler and more mysterious than saying what she actually thought about, surprised to see that they were still walking down the hallway - a hallway that looked vaguely familiar. A fleeting glance at Lola's confidently swaying hips told her that she knew exactly where they were. But Maika did not.

"Lola, where are we? Aren't we supposed to be--"

"Oh there you are, my dear," Lola exclaimed, flicking her hair over her shoulder as if her hair was all Maika was worth talking to. "I thought I've lost you."

"I think you intend to," Maika muttered dryly at her hair. It swayed mischievously in response.

"Don't worry," the lady in front of the hair assured her, none too effectively. "We'll be there in no time."

No time indeed, Maika shuddered. Not wanting to let her rising fear shine through for Lola to take advantage of, she again summoned the silence, which willingly fell on them again. (In case your morbid imagination shows them being squished flatter than pancakes and leaves you wondering how they can still manage to walk, you should be informed that silence, though can be heavy, is not concrete.) She felt panic rising within her, as well as the fear that Skittles or Dracomir or both of them have already reached Roggie's office and finished speaking to him and reached a diplomatic solution and informed Alli of her absence in the proceedings and suggested dismissing her for lack of professionalism. Overwhelmed and paralyzed, the only thing Maika could do was send a mental distress call to Dracomir - whom she hoped had telepathic abilities though she herself did not - to rescue her from Lola. The line was busy.

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Old 06-05-2006, 06:53 PM   #60
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Skittles had grown tired of doing backflips and reverted to sitting cross-legged on the stone-tiled floor, playing jumping jacks, when all of a sudden with a loud crack Dracomir appeared beside her.

Oy, she thought enviously, how does he do that?

"Couldn't be bothered to wait for that lot. C'mon-let's go and find Roggie."

Skittles untangled her legs, pocketed her jacks and bouncy rubber ball, and leapt to her feet. "Can we appear in front of him with a loud, sudden crack and give him a fright?" she asked eagerly. When startled, Roggie tended to expell flames in a most entertaining, if dangerous, manner.

"Er, well..." Dracomir's bravado faded just a bit. "Roggie's further away and a being of more power. I could tell what direction he was in (North, South etc), but nothing more."

Skittles was unfazed. "So. What direction is he in?"

"Let me see." With a flourish Dracomir pulled out his wand and invoked a locator spell. "Ah. North. Definitely North, with a dash of downwards." He turned slowly, holding his wand out like the needle of a compass.

I could describe to you in detail the many adventures and mishaps they encountered as they travelled the length and the breadth of the Palace/Casino, following the ever changing directions of the wand. But that would take a long time and a lot of narration. Instead, I offer you this:

"Watch out for that wall."

"Are you sure that's the right way?"

"Maybe it's broken."

"Do you like cats? I like cats."

"That orc just looked at us funny. I'll be right back."

"You know, the nice thing about black leather is that orc blood doesn't show up."

"Well you can't go there, obviously there can't be a secret, hidden entryway behind that majestic tapestry depicting the Battle of TiG XV."

"I told you so."

"Maybe we should stop and ask directions?"

And so on, until Dracomir invoked a Good God will that woman never shut up? muting spell.

They wandered for an even more intensely boring length of time in silence (or, at least, Dracomir didn't hear what Skittles was saying) until finally a merciful end was put to the madness. "We are getting close, now, quite close," said Dracomir with excitement, as the wand began to beep and its tip blinked red. (Or maybe it only did that in Skittles' warped perception.)

"Yes, yes, I can almost pinpoint his exact location now, he's...." Dracomir spun around and, in the process, poked Roggie in the stomach.

Roggie let out a roar, singing Dracomir's pale locks and marring his porcelain complexion. Then he seized the wand between his thumb and forefinger and snapped it in two. Then he crumbled each section into a fine powder and sprinkled it over the stunned Dracomir.

Then he gave the pseudo-Gondorian ambassador not a second glance nor another moment's thought, turning to Skittles instead. "There you are," he roared. "I've been looking all over for you. Come with me!"

They departed for the undoubtedly complex and deeply cavernous labyrinth once more, in a cloud of fire and ash.

At that moment, or actually, a couple moments before, a rift in the space-time continuum occurred. Such things happened quite a lot after those daft Wizards created the Dweomer, and at any moment strange things such as this were prone to happen. Quite simply put, at the moment Roggie seized Dracomir's wand, the current reality split into two separate entities, and went their separate ways, totally unbeknownst to each other.

In one reality, Roggie snapped Dracomir's wand in two. In the second reality, all he did was forcefully poke Dracomir in the stomach and then rap him on the head. In both realities, he then gave the pseudo-Gondorian ambassador not a second glance nor another moment's thought, turning to Skittles instead. "There you are," he roared. "I've been looking all over for you. Come with me!"

What happened to these two realities, separated at birth? Well, in the first reality, the one in which Dracomir lost his wand, Dracomir quit both wizarding and ambassadoring, (devastated by the loss of his wand) and took up hair-styling in Hollywood. The negotiations continued without him. Eventually the negotiations failed (when the remaining Gondorians were slaughtered by Roggie and his warlordess) and so Gondor and Mordor went to war. The casualties were high. Eventually flames engulfed Middle-earth, and the world ended.

So, let's follow the second reality, the one in which Dracomir got a poke in the tummy and a rap on the head, then was left standing in the hall with his wand and his bruises, while Roggie and Skittles departed for the undoubtedly complex and deeply cavernous labyrinth once more, (once more), in a cloud of fire and ash.

Last edited by Diamond18; 06-07-2006 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:52 PM   #61
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"You! Guard! Send a message to Lady Alli! I wish to see her at once." said Angawen to the human guard.

"We have orders to stay here and make sure that you don't leave." replied the guard.

"Well does it necessarily take two guards to watch over one spot?" interjected Hyarmenwe.

"Orders are orders, sir."

"But, you can obey your master's orders and still go and fetch Lady Alli. Since it doesn't take two of you guard one area."

The human guard gave in, "I'll go and get the Lady." he then turned towards the Orc guard, "You stay here and make sure they don't leave. And if they give you trouble just give them some trouble back"

The Orc guard grunted. He seemed taller and stronger than the typical Orc Bearugard was used to seeing. The man went to go get Lady Alli and he stopped as the Orc followed him.

"What are you doing?"

"Following you." The orc replied.

"No, no, no. I'm going to get Alli you stay here and make sure they don't go anywhere. Got it."

"Yep, you want me to stay here."

"And make sure they don't leave."

"What?"

"Make sure that they don't leave!"

"Oh, of course. I am not to leave this spot."

"And they don't leave neither."

"Who?"

"Them!"

"Oh that them."

"Yes, do you got it?"

"Clear as mud."

The man went off to go fetch Lady Alli and the Orc brute stood there watching the diplomats. Bearugard approached him. The Orc wasn't much taller than him, but the Orc clearly had been to the gym and did some weight-lifting 3 times a week.

"May I ask what are you doing?" said Bearugard.

"I'm staying here in this spot, like I'm supposed to." replied the Orc.

"Good job, I hope you get a bonus. I'll see you."

"Hold it!" shouted the Orc, "I was also told to make sure that you don't leave neither."

"You mean your orders are to make sure we don't leave?"

"Yep."

"I regret eavesdropping on your conversation, but your buddy didn't say we weren't to leave, he said them. Right?"

"I guess."

"Well, you see, we are not them. You're supposed to make sure they don't leave... not us."

"Oh, ok then, sorry to be troubling you. Go right on ahead."

"Thank you. I'll make sure to put in a good word for you."

"No problem."

"Well, come on." said Bearugard looking back to the two diplomats who were now much relieved to get passed the guard.

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Old 06-08-2006, 04:07 PM   #62
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How long he had been out, Smilog could not tell. His head was wobbling more than Bombur on triple cake Friday. That wine was strong stuff for sure; so strong it had knocked him out cold, or it may have been the lamp, which lay in pieces just beside him. He struggled to his feet and waddled around, stumbling and gibbering incoherently to himself. It wasn't long before he began to sing...

We Love fishing for the sea
Because it gives us lots of glee
For into the mouth of the moth we go
To find the singing toad's crow!

Oh to be a family’s mouse
Would make me look like a house!
And then I’d look at all the cats
And say to them “Bats!”

He fell forwards onto the hard stonewall. Except, it wasn't so hard. In fact he was sure it was hollow. "Wasc awll thisc then?" he slurred as he repeatedly punched the wall. After many efforts the wall opened and Smilog fell through it and landed flat on his face in a dusty passageway. The door closed swiftly behind him, as if it too did not like the look of this odd place with its strange smells. Smilog tried to stand up, but only fell down again and soon began to sleep.

When he awoke his head ached worse than the Witch King's head when Eowyn stabbed him. He stood up and looked around at the strange surroundings, it was a long corridor, dark and dingy, probably inhabited by some giant spider, knowing his luck. Slowly he followed the passage until he came to a turn. Then another. Then a crossroads. Then another. Then a turn again. What was this place? A labyrinth. "I have Labyrinths!" he cried aloud to himself.

"Don't talk-sss to me abot-ss Labyrintttthhhsss!" came a voice from around the corner.

"Who's there?" demanded Smilog walking towards the sound.

"Oh, nobody!" came the reply, "its-ss all a dream! Go to shleep!"

"If its a dream, then how could I go to sleep?" queried Smilog. There was a pause.

"Erm..." said the voice, "Its-sss a sss-strange dream. Yeah, that'll do. And I'm an invisible ghos-sst!"

"Look, I'm not here to play silly beggars," huffed the Dwarf impatiently, "and you're not an invisible ghost. I can see you... you..." he stopped as he realised what he was talking to. A large, hairy, smelly Minotaur!

"Go on!" said the creature, "run and sss-scream. Like all the others-ss!"

"Well, for a start it wouldn't be a fair chase," observed Smilog, sitting down, "I can see from here that your leg is trapped in that bucket. What's your name?"

"Name?" mused the Minotaur, "Well... erm..."

"You know, 'name'" Smilog teased, "the thing most beings have to identify themselves by?"

"I know-ss that-ss!" The Minotaur stood up and fell down again. "Tollin, is-ss my name! Tollin Gaurhoth! At your sss-service."

"Smilog, the Dwarf, at yours." he helped the creature up, "perhaps we can help each other get out of this place?" Tollin shook his head and slowly began to weep. It was odd to see such a terrible creature cry to heartily and with such sorrow. Almost like seeing Sauron himself curl up, suck his thumb and call for his mother.

"I've been here for years!" cried Tollin, "I've not found even the slightest hint of an exit!"

"Why don't we follow that sign?" asked Smilog pointing at a large illuminated 'exit' sign hanging on the wall.

"I did not ssss-see that." said Tollin scratching his head.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:30 PM   #63
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Lola fled with, apparently, the most cutting rejoinder she could think of: "dense". Two possible meanings could adhere to the comment, neither of which were to the point. So Anakron cast them from his mind. He was worried about Panakeia. Where had she gone? Was she in trouble? He considered leaving the negotiations to go find her; but he was, after all, the Grand Anakronist, and he had a job to do .... even if the anakronisms were not conveying as he wished. Regardless of his personal inclinations, he must see to the negotiations. Gondor and Mordor were at odds. Anarkon's power came from the Blue Istari, and so his allegiance was to them and their purposes, even if he disagreed with them.

He looked up for a moment, halting his ponderings, to see that he was alone in the room. Apparently the negotiations were not happening here after all. The ambassadors had left him without a word. Something deep inside the Grand Anakronist lost its moorings. How dare they leave him without a word. How dare the Blue Istari interrupt his happy life in Umbar and force him into the thankless task. Misunderstood. Accused of corruption. Of evil. Of turning things to his own ends for his own narcissistic pleasure. How dare they think such things about him. How dare this negotiation interrupt the one bright thing in his sorry life!

He rose. His teeth were bared. His hand clutched the staff as if it were a neck he could choke.

"They do not know whom they are ignoring at their peril," he grated. He had held back from conveyance of late because it had been going wrong. Things were coming mixed. Fantasy and reality combined in macabre ways. Mixed technologies from incongruant future times destroyed each other before onlookers. People were getting killed and not coming back to life.

"I care not." Anakron knew that the potential for evil had always been there, and he saw that it was now rising from its formerly dormant seed. He felt it within. He knew that this would most likely be the end of any joy he had envisioned with Panakeia, and somewhere deep inside, a lonely little man wailed at the inevitable loss. He would spare her. It would be the only promise toward civility he would make. "Let them weep."

He walked out of the room and down the corridor that led to Roggie's depths. He raised the staff.

"Convey."

The Siamese Cat howled.

A car appeared suddenly before him and skidded into the wall, crashing. It burst into flames; its horn blared. A man covered in steel, riding a horse, a long pointed shaft held in his arm, hurtled down the corridor past Anakron. A man wearing a mask, tanks on his back, pointed a black shiny thing at the horse and rider. A trigger was pulled and held. Bullets rained and tore through the armored man and his horse and they went down.

"Too simple. Too brash. I need something more subtle."

Anakron continued down the corridor and searched the darkness of his rage.

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Old 06-08-2006, 11:09 PM   #64
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Hyarmenwë's chest was pounding. They had slipped past the guards. They were still in the palace, it was true, but they were technically out of bounds, and the rule-abiding noble in Hyarmenwë was terrified at the thought that they were technically in a legitimate position to be Assigned to Mordor- or soon would be.

Speaking properly, giving the guards the slip merely meant that they were breaking the rules set by Aluminé Umfuil, which was certainly a breach of proprietry in and of itself, but it was not automatic Assignment, any more than opposition to Mardil meant Assignment to Mordor. No, Assignment to Mordor, basically boiled down to association with an anakronism. Being an anakronism, accepting anakronisms as normal, or making, producing, or perpetrating anakronism: these were what Assigned one to Mordor- not disobediance to the Mordorian spymaster.

Based on that theory, one should presumably be able to move about in Mordor if one continued to act as a true Gondorian, didn't condone the anakronisms about oneself, and didn't absorb any of their anakronistic ways.

A difficult enough task by itself, Hyarmenwë reflected. He had once come very near to Assignment himself, nearly twenty years before, and had lost one of his own family to Assignment. Mordor and Assignments thereto were not to be taken lightly.

But neither were negotiations with Mordor, Hyarmenwë had managed to convince himself. He was here for the love of Gondor and the benefit thereof. And with negotiations stalled and potentially trapped in Mordor for life, it made logical sense to do some scouting- so long as one was careful not to contaminate oneself.

"Which way, do you think?" he asked Angawen, who was the most eager to venture out of their proscribed domain, when they came to a meeting of corridors.

"Left," said she. "The air smells differently- more stuffy and less wholesome. In other words, the smell of normal Mordor."

They turned left, away from the centre of the palace, and towards the smell of what they did not necessarily realize was smog. Soon they found themselves at the end of the corridor, where a small door opened onto a zig-zagging staircase that led to the street below. Angawen and her bodyguards leading the way, they descended the fire escape.

What a horrible land! Hyarmenwë thought in horror as he moved his aging feet down the many stairs. There was no fear of him condoning or accepting the anakronisms. Every strange thing about the land sent shivers down his spine.

"Look! Some of the locals," Angawen pointed at a group of disillusioned teenagers slouching against the building across the street from them. "Let us go question them as to where we can find the best source of the local gossip."

"If we must, let us get this distasteful task over with," said Bearugard with a sniff, and he stepped courageously forward into the street. He was very nearly run over by a yellow PT Cruiser.

"Hey mate!" shouted the ork driving through his open window. "Use the bloomin' crosswalk, alright!"

"Crosswalk?" a shaken Bearugard turned to Angawen and Hyarmenwë.

"An anakronism," said Hyarmenwë with a shake of his hand. "Best not dwell on the thought."

"All right, all together!" Angawen ordered, as soon as the coast was clear. Before any more automobiles could materialize to run them over, they dashed across the pavement.
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Old 06-09-2006, 06:40 AM   #65
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"Roggie's been here," grunted Smilog.

"How-sss can you tell-sss?" asked Tollin scratching his head.

"Because it smells of fish!" the Dwarf trotted along, following the illuminated signs, there was even one that said, 'don't forget to wash your hands, Roggie!' Smilog snorted and chuckled over this. "Did his mother build this place?"

"I ttthhhink sss-so," mused Tollin as he picked up a large morning star up off the floor, "I was-sss wondering where that had got to." Smilog looked at the black head of the weapon covered in steel spikes that would easily cleave through solid rock. Smilog may not have been a good mining Dwarf, but he knew a thing or two about steel weaponry.

"What's that for?" he asked, "Do you get many intruders in this place?"

"Only that-ss Roggie," sneered Tollin, "him and his-sss fishhh!" He hummed to himself while examining the chain and handle of the morning star. "I don't know why I ussse thissss," he continued, "theresss notss enough room to swing a cat in here. Believe me I've tried!"

"What, swinging a cat?"

"No!" bellowed Tollin, "usssing this thing."

"It's a morning star," corrected Smilog as the passed a small door marked 'food', "Wait a moment!" cried the dwarf turning and staring at this. "Food? Have you ever seen this?"

"A few timessss," said Tollin, "It'ssss locked."

"I see." hummed Smilog, "wait a moment! You're a Minotaur, yes?" Tollin nodded, "well, you should have unusually great strength. Can't you knock it down?" the Minotaur thought for a moment and then shrugged.

"I'll give it a go," he said and hurled himself full pelt at the door. The rotten wood frame crumbled as soon as he touched it and the rest of the thing fell forwards onto the dusty floor.

"Good grief!" cried Smilog as a stench of rotting fish poured out of the room, "Ack!" he screamed, "what's in there?" there was no answer from Tollin so Smilog held his nose and went in to search for him. He found the Minotaur stuffing his face full of rotten fish and smiling like an imbecile. "What are you doing?"

"Eating fish!" cried Tollin, "Want some?"

"No thank you," Smilog was nearly sick, "I think we should keep moving. Roggie can't be far away. If we find him, maybe we can get out of this dreadful place." reluctantly, Tollin rose and plodded along behind Smilog with his head drooping down. "I just hope there is a bath at the end of this labyrinth."

They journeyed on for a little while before coming to some spiralling stairs that wound high up into the mountain. Smilog looked at the steps and could see fresh footprints there, he also heard someone breathing heavily somewhere up the stairs. "Roggie, is that you?" cried the Dwarf, "I want to talk to you!"

"Go away!" came the reply, "we're closed!"

"This isn't a shop!" Smilog was getting angry and so he began to ascend the stairs. "Now stop messing around and listen to what I have to say!" There was no reply. He called out Roggies name many times angrily but no answer came.

"Maybe he's dead," said Tollin, "especially after all that silly shouting!"

"Don't be-" began Smilog, "wait, what happened to your lisp?"

"It comes and goes," Tollin stated with firm affirmation. As Smilog rolled his eyes they heard something coming down the stairs. At first thy thought it might be Roggie, but the sound was different, less like someone walking down the stairs, more like something flowing down them. Three seconds later a huge flow of stinking green liquid game gushing towards them and knocked them right off their feet and sent them to the bottom. "What is this stuff?" wept Tollin.

"Sour milk!" cried Roggie from above, "now leave me alone!"
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:43 AM   #66
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Of a sudden, the air began to shake, the ground grew heavy, and the world seemed to mix clichès with all the glee of an ancient and shrivelled creative writing teacher on medication for a misdiagnosed disorder.
The Gondorian Ambassadors froze in their steps, looking behind them to the looming Mount Doom Palace and Casino. Those inside, including the hopelessly lost Tollin and Smilog, the gleefully plotting Roggie and Skittles, and the woefully incapable-of-finding-the-monarch-and-his-crazed-companion other Ambassadors, shivered, previously convinced that Mount Doom was dormant, now slightly concerned.

Alli, seated in an armchair by the fire, staring broodingly into it and missing Aimè while pretending to do the paperwork laying lonely on her lap, looked up.

Anakron Istkon Vayor froze in his very long and wrathful steps, looking suddenly at the staff in his hand. Without hesitation he ran back toward where he had come from, hiking his abnormally flowing - but in a good way - robes high, his pale legs covering ground quickly. He found a balcony with the ease that could only come from a writer wanting him to quickly find it without worry over split infinitives or actual story-based reasonings for it being conveniently there and he looked down at the road far below, his nose wrinkling artistocratically as the fumes from the city rose toward him.

His imperious eyes scanned the ground for the source of the world's shaking, occasionally glaring at the staff in his grasp and finally found it.

The Gondorian Ambassadors spotted him from afar and seemed to diminish in size as the Mount Doom Palace and Casino grew.

"May the Valar take pity upon us..." murmered Hyarmenwë, his eyes growing round. "We must return!"

Before another word could be spoken, another character hijacked, another run-on sentence composed, Mount Doom Casino and Resort, due to an anomoly in the Dweomer/Reality continuum, sprouted wheels and drove away.

Alli had risen with the first of the shudderings and ran, spotting Anakron and stopping.

"What is happening and why are the Gondorians standing in the road that SHOULD be outside of this palace!?!?!?" Anakron glared at her superfluous use of punctuation and capitalization and held onto a railing for balance.

Already in the distance, Angawen, Hyarmenwë, and Bearugard stared in disbelief as the mountain they had only just left zoomed away.

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Old 06-09-2006, 10:17 AM   #67
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"No, no, no!" cried Smilog, "Not again! Not again!" the mountain shook violently as it drove over the plains of Gorgoroth with insane speed. The Dwarf struggled to his feet and began climbing the stairs, even though they shook like Aragorn on bath night. Tollin swiftly followed on, trying desperately to keep on his feet, though the g-force was beginning to press them against the sides of the staircase.

"What is going on?" cried Tollin, "This is an unusual Mountain indeed! But this has never happened before!"

"Yes it has!" cried Smilog as he hung on to the banister and climbed desperately up the stairs, "and its my fault, I think!" Tollin was about to ask what he meant, but just then they saw Roggie crawling through a door at the top of the stairs. "Oi!" cried Smilog, "will you help us?"

"No!" Cried Roggie as he vanished behind the door and seemed to lock it behind him, "you're not coming out till I've stopped this Mountain!"

"But I can help you stop it!" The dwarf desperately hung on as the violent rumbling of the engine began to shake the chamber. "I know what's going on!"

"Shut up!" cried Roggie, who then left. Tollin moved up the stairs with determination, he was stronger than Smilog, so he was able to carry his newfound friend up the stairs. When they came to the door at the top, it wasn't long before the shaking of the mountain caused the door to fall apart as well as the stairs beneath them. Smilog and Tollin almost fell to their deaths, but the Minotaur hung on to the edge for all he was worth and climbed back up.

Eventually, the shaking seemed to dye down and become smoother. They must have come to a flat plain and be cruising along quite nicely. "What did you mean?" asked Tollin, "you know what’s going on?"

"Sort of," grumbled Smilog, "its a long story. Basically, my father was involved with Sauron quite deeply." Tollin gasped and looked strongly at the Dwarf, "I wasn't, by the way. I was too young at the time. He was involved in some super secret mission that Sauron gave him and all the Dwarves he had on his side. It was called..." Smilog paused and drew breath, "Project Zoom!"

"You know about that?" cried Roggie from behind a corner, "you little traitor! I'll kill you!" He dashed at the Dwarf, but Tollin stood in his way.

"Listen to me!" cried Smilog, "I am no traitor! I hated my father's work, and he repented fully of his deeds after he saw what damage the project could do. The plan was to make Mount Doom mobile, just in case anyone tried to destroy the One Ring, also to just wreak havoc in Middle Earth. The project was abandoned when Sauron decided that his victory was guaranteed, he threw all the Dwarves out of Mordor. My father told me all about it, he said they'd done enough that if anyone found the secret, they could resurrect it easily. I was assigned to Mordor to find the Zoom project and destroy it!"

Roggie huffed and puffed unhappily, small fires busted out all over him as he tried to process all of this information. Tollin strode forwards and looked around, he saw that there were on the first floor of the Casino. "We should try and get to the control room," he said, "i assume there is one?"

"Yes," said Smilog miserably, "the Crack of Doom! I suppose asking you to re-start negotiations is folly now, Roggie?"
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:11 AM   #68
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Completely unaware of the dire and hopeless fate, encompassing the doom of the entire world, that his parallel self was now undergoing, Tom picked himself up, quite carefully and in some considerable pain. Somehow, he thought following the ghastly Balrog and the dangerously unstable Skittles was not the most prudent course of action, though he needed to get the King to listen to him in some way or other...

The hall in which he found himself was sparce and empty, but though apparently unguarded, it was easy of access, and he could not be sure whether some other guard, or creature, would enter at any moment and interrupt his increasingly hopeless musings. He contented himself with surveying exits and entrances, doors, how easily passable they looked, and whether there were likely to be any traps, in punctilious detail.

Then the whole place shook and he fell flat on his face again, smashing his handsome nose. A hasty Reparo sorted out the fracture but did not staunch the flow of blood, and Dracomir was becoming rather a gruesome sight, covered in red gore not unlike Potter had been after that Petrificus Totallus spell last year. There was another sudden tremor, and though the lack of windows meant Tom had no clue what was going on, in the interests of self-preservation he scrambled through the nearest door, which, thankfully, was open.

The door had a simple but hefty bolt, and Dracomir operated it to lock himself inside for the present. The shaking in the hallway didn't seem to affect this chamber, or rather, this suite, for he was now obviously looking at an antechamber. The furnishings were plush and in green and silver. There was a shelf with what looked like potion ingredients in one room beyond, and a four-poster bed, like the one in his room at Malfoy Manor, in the other. All in all, the Lord Dracomir Malfoidacil felt extremely at home.

Rather too at home. For a cold-eyed portrait of a white-blond man of haughty bearing was hung up opposite him, the words ABRAXAS MALFOY inscribed on the lower part of the frame.

"Took you long enough to get here, you little ingrate," the picture remarked in a proud voice.

"...Grandfather...?" Dracomir murmured nervously...
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:17 AM   #69
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"Folly indeed." Roggie growled, trying fruitlessly to find a large red button on the wall that was labelled 'Push me and all of this will stop in a very tidy manner and the world will make sense again.' "Skittles, my chief war advisor, we will finish our discussion as soon as I discover just who is driving my palace without my permission."

Skittles grinned maniacally, flicking her switchblade open and closed in a manner most disconcerting. "Can I fix the problem when we find it?"

"We'll see."

"Ooh, goodie. Can I trim the Dwarf's beard?"

"Go ahead."
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Old 06-10-2006, 01:12 AM   #70
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Smilog leaped backwards and put his hand on his axe hilt, "Come one step nearer," he warned, "and I'll shove that knife where the sun don't shine!"

"In Mordor," pointed out Tollin, "that could be anywhere." Skittles frowned at the Dwarf and turned to follow Roggie as he wandered off. They walked through the ruined casino while the Mountain hummed along at a pleasant speed not yet showing any signs of stopping, however. The card tables were all broken and scattered all over the place; it was a carnage of cards and a terror of tables! It took a lot to stop Smilog from being sick.

Roggie grumbled in council with Skittles while the Dwarf and his huge companion followed on behind them. Skittles kept looking longingly at the knife and the dwarf's beard while Smilog held his axe tight in his hands. Tollin seemed a little apprehensive and more than a little suspicious of something, "Its not right," he said, "Something is not quite right."

"What do you mean?" asked Smilog, "Of course its not right, there is a mountain driving around!"

"Well, there’s that," Tollin replied, "but it’s been on smooth ground for a while now. I know for a fact that there isn't this much smooth ground in Mordor. Unless it’s going around in circles, it may have stopped!"
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:50 AM   #71
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"Well, you abominable little worm, you haven't achieved that much yet, have you?" the portrait of Abraxas Malfoy went on.

"Well..."

"I thought you were supposed to be," the painted lips gave a very definite smirk, "negotiating with the King of Mordor by now."

"Well..."

"Well what, you lily-livered mealy-mouthed incompetent little leech?"

"Come now, Grandfather," Dracomir cut in, "isn't that slightly excessive?"

"No, it is not, you insufficiently sinuous earthworm! The portrait in the negotiation room told me in good faith you were alone with Mordorian ambassadors at least twice, and yet failed to place them under the Imperius Curse! Neither have you employed Veritaserum in order to unearth compromising secrets! Neither have you..."

The portrait ranted on and on, bringing up stratagems and spells whose very names made Dracomir's blood chill slightly, as in, get cold, not, like, relax. Tom could not help feeling that in his heart of hearts he did not naturally belong to this family. He admired their almost ludicrous capacity for evil, but he could never equal it. He shuddered at Abraxas' latest helpful suggestion. Surely his ancestor hadn't really expected him to be able to summon a Nundu?

"Still," the Malfoy picture said, almost charitably, "you are, after all, a scion of my blood, however undeserving, and I am prepared to aid you to a certain extent."

"I see," Dracomir sneered back, giving as good as he got. "That's a relief. I thought you were going to rant for the next Age of Arda."

"It's a pleasure, insect," Abraxas replied. "Now, proceed to the mahogany table by the Potions shelf. There are some presents for you there."

Sullenly doing as he has told, Tom shuffled to the table in question, feeling Abraxas' eyes swivel to keep trained on him. Arranged on the tabletop were a variety of peculiar objects; what looked like a sheet of parchment, a silvery, insubstantial cloak folded up, and a vial containing a bright purple, fizzing liquid.

"Pick up the parchment," Abraxas barked, "and tap it with your wand, while saying I solemnly swear that I will fill my SAVE in within 48 hours."

The Lord Malfoidacil intoned, just as he had heard, the peculiar phrase.

"I solemnly swear that I will fill my SAVE in within 48 hours."

A blot of ink appeared in the centre of the sheet, spreading out, sticking and congealing. A title formed at the top-

Messrs Minocher, Framroze, Eduljee and Dinshaw present THE MORDORERS' MAP

"A powerful artefact," Abraxas pronounced solemnly. "It shows a complete map of Mordor, including insets of the Castle, Lundun, and Cair Paradocks-and, what's more, everyone within Mordor, and where they are."

"All I can see is a lot of weird smudges moving around the normal map," Dracomir opined.

"Well, there have been some problems with scale. A Great Eagle could read it with ease," Abraxas insisted. "Now try the cloak on."

Dracomir expected slightly better things of the Cloak. Could it be an Invisibility Cloak, like Potter's? He slipped it about himself.

"An Inaudibility Cloak," Abraxas explained. "Marvellous, isn't it?"

"What's the point in being Inaudible?" Dracomir protested.

"Sorry?" Abraxas asked. "Didn't quite catch that." Tom took off the Cloak with a sigh and folded it up for later. Maybe he'd need to get past a crack squad of specially recruited blind guards, or something.

"Ah!" Abraxas exclaimed. "And now the potion! The fabled Infelix Infelicis!"

"Let me guess, it makes me even more unlucky than usual," Dracomir suggested.

"Yup, that's about right."

Dracomir seized the vial, ran past the picture, and hurled the potion at Abraxas' head. It smashed, and apparently being highly flammable, set the picture on fire. The Lord Malfoidacil left the antechamber, Map and Cloak stowed away, with the satisfying sound in his ears of his grandfather being immolated. He could not resist a broad smile as he left. Maybe he deserved to be a Malfoy after all.
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Old 06-10-2006, 06:59 PM   #72
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The zooming Mountain gave Anakron an idea as to subtlety. Certain anakronisms there were that were distasteful even in that horrible future. It was time to bring them to bear, regardless of the additional kaos such konveyances of anakronisms kreated. Anakron also decided that he would rather enjoy spelling all those words in his mind and in that infamous role playing game that had kreated the very place he happened to be existing in, with the Greek 'K'. Most exkwizit. He actually giggled. Briefly. Then he raised his staff.

"Konvay!" The kat bawled.

He knew that this partikular konveyance was going to take some time to inkarnate itself in its fulness, but the first stirrings were already beginning to okkur.

It just so happened that Lûgnût the androgynous ork had come to the same balkoney as had Anakron, to observe the moving of the Mountain. Now the ork was on his/her face, bowing down to the Mountain itself in what Anakron took to be worship; the ork was mumbling some strange imprekation in praise of the great Mountain and all its power, based on the Ring which was still at its heart, Dark Lord or no Dark Lord. A malicious grin spread slowly over Anakron's face.
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Old 06-10-2006, 07:53 PM   #73
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The mountain's sudden lurch into motion disturbed Panakeia's reverie. An earthquake. We must be having an earthquake, she thought in alarm. It surprised her, never having experienced seismic activity during all her stay in Mordor, but the room was shaking and she could find no other explanation. Noting a swaying chandelier over the billiards table, she ducked back beneath the imposing furniture. Only just in time - a flimsily built plywood wall toppled near her, and would have landed on top of her if not for the table's protection. Mordorian construction, she thought irritably.

The motion was very odd. If not for the room's location in the Mount Doom Palace and Casino, Panakeia would have thought she was in a swaying recreational vehicle, right down to the growing feeling of carsickness in her stomach. Fortunately for her, the room's trembling ceased just as the swirling sensation reached its peak. She emerged unsteadily from her hiding place, pushing aside a pile of debris and brushing dust from her gown.

Wondering how severe the damage had been, Panakeia made her way to a window and looked outside. She gasped. Instead of the Palace gates and signs for the Casino, she looked upon the tiny blue of the Pathetic Ocean. Several surfers and sunbathers were staring blankly at the mountain. Somehow, Mount Doom had arrived at the Mâl-in-Bû section of Lost Angles. Panakeia was flabbergasted. She could think of no possible way for the mountain to have moved. Unless...unless the Dweomer was at work. Anakron! What had happened?

She looked around from her window, and spotted the Grand Anakronist standing on a balcony above her. As she watched, he began to laugh. Just for a moment, but he laughed all the same. And then Lûgnût joined him and bowed to the mountain. Anakron began to laugh again, and though she couldn't see his face clearly from her vantage point, she thought she saw a hint of a cruel grin on his lips.

Her anger forgotten, Panakeia felt a scream rising in her throat. Something was horribly wrong with Anakron, and she, terrified by what she saw, knew that she had to help him if she could. With a nagging fear that she was somehow the cause of whatever evil had taken place, Panakeia made her way over the rubble of the billiards room and searched for a way to the balcony. When she passed the bullet-riddled body of an armored man near a wrecked car, she knew that she was coming close. Before long, she heard the familiar - and yet strange - laughter of her beloved Anakron on the other side of a door. She hurried to the doorway and stepped through to face him, fear, worry, and love all written on her brow.

"What's happening?" she cried.
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:59 AM   #74
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The bizarre earthquake in the castle seemed to have completely ceased by now. Tom advanced to the entrance to the labryrinth whither Roggie and Skittles had repaired. Even after the Balrog-King had advanced far down it long ago, it exuded a certain amount of sulphurous heat. Besides, it was likely to be a contorted route, and Dracomir-though the smudges on the Mordorers' Map gave him a vague idea-couldn't be quite sure where Roggie had gone.

Besides, he wasn't exactly enamoured of the idea of being reunited with the King of Mordor without significant back-up.

He already had enough information to make a certain impression...if directed to the right ears. Roggie had shown absolute proof, of the must robust kind, of his reluctance to negotiate. He was on the contrary marching off with Skittles. Skittles, Lady of Flick-Knives. Hardly a sign of latent pacifism. Dracomir couldn't precisely know their purposes, but he assumed three of them were war, destruction, and barbecuing.

Just wait till those timorous Mordorian "ambasador" wage-slaves of Alli heard that. Yes, this news would have quite an effect.

Just then, the Lord Malfoidacil's reflections were interrupted by a decided feeling that someone without a trace of magical power was attempting to communicate with him. He shook his head. Irresponsible mudbloods, messing up the Legilimency Telecom Network with their untrained burblings. He had better things to worry about. He Apparated back to the Negotiation Hall.

Lola and Maika having apparently gone on ahead, only Igör remained; he seemed to be lagging due to the propensity of his eyes to go wandering off on missions of their own. Due to something more than accident, Tom increasingly suspected. The Shelleyesque aberration had previously shown his practicality, and was probably a loyal and accurate informer for his mistress Alli.

"I just thought you might like to know," the Lord Malfoidacil started coldly in Sindarin, "that King Roggie of Morgoth and Miss Nancy MacFayden are currently involved in planning hostile action against my lord King Mardil's domain."

"Or, in plain English, how are we supposed to get out of this one?"

Igör replied, very loudly, "If you'll excuse me, could you ask someone else? The two halves of my brain are at war with each other, you see..."

Maybe not so efficient then. Tom sighed, but Lola...ah, as irritatingly delectable as ever...and Maika had come back, apparently lost and rather in the Doldrums; or at least, Maika seemed to be. Lola was the model of insouciance.

"What did you say?" Maika gasped, though she had patently already heard, hence the shock.

"I said what I said," Dracomir replied simply. "Roggie and Skittles are building an army...worthy of Morrrrdorrrr. So it begins. There will be no dawn for Men. Or Women, I imagine."

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Old 06-11-2006, 05:49 AM   #75
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Panakeia burst through the doors to the balcony.

"What is happening?" she cried.

She seemed frenetic and not at all herself. In fact, she was laughable, with big, expressive cow eyes and gobs of concern oozing from every pour. It was actually repulsive to Anakron; how at odds with the jealous hauteure of their recent confrontation.

Anakron grinned coldly, for she was ridiculous. "The Mountain is moving."

"I know that!" she answered in consternation. "What has happened to you?"

A cold knife of accusation slid its way into his heart, for he knew precisely what she meant. Were he to answer with the truth, he knew that he would unravel from his precarious perch of self-respect, and turn into puddy in her hands; he refused the humiliation and chose to avoid the question.

"I have konveyed the Dweomer, and this orc has as a result become the worshipper and prophet of his new god, Mount Doom, Womb of the Ring."

Lûgnût rose, looking at them fiercely. His androgyneity had disappeared. "Then you understand, Grand Anakronist!"

"I do. Go and spread the word!"

"I shall!" Lûgnût roared, his pathetic pig face turning fierce with the fanatcism of unbridled belief.

"What are you doing?" Panakeia half yelled, her voice hinged on the brink of seeming panik.

"What I was meant to do," Anakron answered with chilling calm.

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Old 06-11-2006, 01:23 PM   #76
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When the Mountain lurched to a stop, Skittles ran to a window to see where they had landed. She looked out and saw the sparkling waves lapping the sandy beaches of Lost Angles, and this she did exclaim:

"Sick!"

Smilog, Tollin, and Roggie exchanged puzzled glances.

"Be back later, boss," Skittles said to the smouldering King of Mordor. "I've got a wave to catch!"

With a cheerful wave she bounded away. Smilog, Tollin, and Roggie exchanged puzzled glances, then Smilog said, "I have the strangest feeling of deja vu..."

Skittles bounded to her room and rifled through her trunk once more, flinging gingham, tweed, and argyle to the four corners of her room. She emerged minutes later in an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini which she wore for the first time that day. Under one arm she carried a matching yellow polka dot surfboard, which was neither itsy nor bitsy, teenie, or weenie.

It was truly a pity that the majority of the Gondorian contingent was back at Mount Doom's usual residing point, since this was a sight that surely would have boggled their minds right down to the ground... and the yellow polka dot flip-flops on Skittles' feet. Luckily for their collective sanity, they were not there to witness Skittles or the rest of the anakronistic wonderland that was Lost Angles.

She did, however, pass the Mordorian contingent in the halls. They stood rooted to the spot, eyebrows raised (except for Lola who uttered a delighted laugh). Igör noted the stylish new itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot iPond Mini which Skittles held in one hand, as the itsy bitsy teenie weenie earbuds delivered a rousing chorus of Jerk It Out to her ears. (And yes, she danced to it as she walked.) She blew a startled Dracomir a kiss and rounded a corner, disappearing from sight.

After she had passed, Maika remarked, "You're sure that's Roggie's warlordess, eh?"

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Old 06-12-2006, 02:21 AM   #77
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So they were then left in the middle of the corridor leading from the main Casino area. Smilog scratched his head as Skittles dashed away wither unusual outfit and even more unusual wooden contraption. "It'll never catch on," muttered Smilog, "where are we anyway?"

"Its a horror worse than even the deepest pits of Mordor!" cried Roggie, as he leant out of the window and screamed, "worse even than staring into the depths of the great eye itself!"

"Speak sense, man!" cried Tollin, "where in Middle Earth are we?" the Minotaur looked out of the window for himself. He stepped back, "I don't see what’s so bad."

"Its..." shivered Roggie, "s-s-s"

"You sound like Tollin with his lisp," mocked Smilog, "speak with words not nonsense. This isn't the house of Tom Bombadill." The Balrogian figure burst into a torrent of fire and shadow, filling the corridor with flame. All about him the shadow gathered and then he drew himself up and the shadow about him seemed to stretch forth like two great wings.

"Mock me not!" bellowed Roggie, his voice becoming as deep as the abysses and as terrible as the wroth of Sauron himself, "Foul smelling bearded creature! I am Roggie! Master of the Casino!" then the fire seemed to dye and he returned to his abnormal self, still scowling at the Dwarf. "A beach!" he said plainly.

"What?" Smilog said with a start, "Never heard of it."

"Its terrible!" cried Roggie, "at least, if the stories are true."

"Oh, be quiet," said Tollin, "you know as well as I do that they are. But it doesn’t look so bad. See, there’s an ice cream stand!"

"What's ice cream?" queried Smilog,

"No idea," replied the Minotaur, "but it looks tasty. Lets go and explore."

"I've got a better idea!" shouted the Dwarf, "lets find out who is driving this mountain first! We need to get to the crack of Doom as quick as possible. Who knows if the Mountain might drive off again while we're all outside drinking..." he peered out and read the firs sign he saw, "Nike shoes? Besides, it shouldn't take long. I have the blue prints here..."
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Old 06-12-2006, 06:33 AM   #78
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Anakron doing what he was meant to do? Horror and despair filled Panakeia's heart. He was wrong. Cruelty and evil could not be Anakron's fate. Of that she was certain. She thought of the words he had spoken to her when he told her how she fared in the Offending Party's tests.

"Panakeia, you would see past the Anakron to the Elempí...It is so long ago. Too long! I've worn these robes and this face of authority for so long that I had forgotten that there was anyone in here but the austere Anakronist. You have helped me remember who I am. Thank you."


Oh! If only she could help him remember now instead of blundering about provoking the worst in him by her foolishness! There had to be some way. Pity seemed an unlikely path. Had his heart been open to it, he would have responded to her frantic appearance. Anakron had not. Whatever darkness had taken him closed that part of his mind too. But if Panakeia could find some spark of the Anakron she knew, maybe she could bring him back. Or so she hoped.

Panakeia steeled herself. She would need every bit of her wits and cunning for her task. Irrationality would be no help. Her hysterical behavior earlier was responsible for Anakron's current state and letting it control her again could only make things worse.

"What do you mean, this is what you were meant to do? Anakron, listen to me! Please. You aren't yourself. The Anakron I know would never do anything like this." She faltered, nearly tearing up again, but quickly resumed her resolve. "I have a feeling that it's my fault. I behaved horribly earlier. And I'm sorry. More sorry than you can know. Please forgive me, and don't let my foolishness destroy you. Because this cruelty will destroy you. If you let it happen. I know it, and so do you." She stopped again, struggling to see if her words had any effect. But she couldn't read Anakron's expression. Then another idea occurred to her. A risky tactic, but Panakeia was desperate. She lowered her voice. "Anakron, you once said that I saw past the Anakron to the Elempí. That you had forgotten the Elempí. And you thanked me for helping you remember who you were. Won't you let me help you again?"

Anakron began to reply, but at this most inopportune moment, Lûgnût jerked toward the door. "I go to spread the word," he hissed.

In a sudden moment of unexpected courage, Panakeia stood between Lûgnût and his exit. "No," she said. In a quiet, deliberate voice she continued, "You will not. This must end here. Now."

Lûgnût hovered over Panakeia. She stared up at him defiantly, her heart pounding, waiting in a near panic for Anakron to say something. Anything.

Lûgnût stepped closer. His body cast a shadow over her slight frame. The players in the scene froze.

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Old 06-12-2006, 08:19 PM   #79
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"Excuse me, Lûgnût," Anakron said.

"What?" Lûgnût appeared ready to consume Panakeia, head, arms, legs, feet and all, right to the marrow; or tear her limb from limb to get her out of his way.

"I say, Lûgnût, do nothing. I will take care of this minor distraction. Step aside."

Lûgnût stepped aside. Anakron approached Panakeia and laid his hands on her shoulders. He met her eyes, and glared at her. "You. Will. Move." She stared back at him and shook her head, her eyes tearing and her face contorting with fear - and something else he could not read. He laid hands on her upper arms, and pushed her bodily out of the doorway. He made sure not to harm her, but did not suffer her to stay his purpose.

"Do not think that you can stop me with such puny attempts, Panakeia of Harad. I am not so easily swayed; certainly not by the likes of you. Lûgnût! Get you gone!"

The orc darted through the door and down the hall. Anakron released her. Now there was outrage in her tear begrimed face. Anakron clicked his tongue and folded his arms.

"Little fool. Now, what were these persuasive arguments that you had so hoped to sway my soul with? Do humor me while you have the chance."
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #80
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Anakron was being cruel. Nothing more or less. But he had saved her from Lûgnût's clutches. That, at least, was hopeful. But he called her a fool, and pushed her aside as a 'minor distraction.' Panakeia's pride was hurt. She had thought to make some impact. But there was no progress...and Anakron was patronizing her. She started to remember her anger, but forced it back, remembering that Anakron was, indeed, not himself.

At any rate, Panakeia didn't appreciate being manhandled. Nor did she appreciate his tone of voice. Most uncalled for, she thought. She looked at him sullenly. "I told you my arguments. This isn't you. The Anakron I love - love enough to make a ridiculous spectacle of myself over - knows better. Don't you remember? You sacrificed yourself to save Mardil. You taught the Offending Party a lesson in kindness and brotherhood in Dol Gaurgauroth. You gave me back my conscience. Have you forgotten?"

Silence. Anakron was sneering at her. She rubbed her arm where he had pulled her out of Lûgnût's path. Panakeia wasn't hurt, but the indignity of being brushed aside for an idiot Orc grated at her. And against her better judgment, she snapped.

"What's the matter with you, anyway? Whatever I did wasn't bad enough to turn you into this raging monster. You're being a fool. A downright, deliberate fool. Walking right into trouble and turning your back on whatever good you stood for. You're throwing everything away for no good reason. And now you won't even listen to good advice. I don't know why I'm wasting my time on you."

Panakeia feared that she had gone too far. But she stood her ground, eyes flashing with fury. If kindness didn't work, maybe anger would. Or so she hoped. It was too late to retract her words.
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