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      Belle Endwhistle received the telepathic call from Skye while she was floating on the cool aqua pool in The City. Belle, affectionately known as Bee, was one of the surge teams helpers from the “other side”. She had always had a particular fondness for cars, hats and vintage designer dresses; before the surge team was initiated, she had often turned up in dreams, driving a flying red car and wearing a variety of outlandish hats. Bee been delighted to accept the offer to chauffeur the fleet of red cars, and always enjoyed meeting old friends on the physical side.


        The Surge Team

        ~ The 13 Chicks of Roast ~ aka TCoR or T-Core

        1. Cornella, from Ullapool, posted to Long Poon
        2. Pearl, USA, North Carolina
        3. Mari Fe, Spain
        4. Skye, London
        5. Katarina, Ukrain
        6. Vera, from NZ, posted to Tahiti or pacific islands
        7. Kiki, Swaziland
        8. Björk, Iceland
        9. Janet Mendyourhall, from LV, Nevada, posted to the West Coast
        10. Lulla, Brasil
        11. Madam Li, Harbin, China
        12. Anita Charmpatti, India
        13. unknown yet, current location Middle East

        ~ Cleaning ladies ~

        Aqua Luna in Long Poon

        ~ Other characters ~

        Ed Steam, the big boss (aprox. 6’7’‘)
        The Management aka Man-T-Core


        In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


          And the dog took a mouthful of buns, reading the Bun Newspaper. A shiver ran down his back. The evil Loard Koala escaped from the infamous Alkasetzar prison.
          He wiggled his tail to relax, though didn’t have the time. A strong grip around his torso. He couldn’t breath, almost had the impression he could die any moment, stuck between two masses of flesh. Then a scratch on his head.
          It was his common lot. Couldn’t take his breakfast quietly with the giantess.
          After a few seconds he felt the impulse to ran into the pool. He still couldn’t swallow his buns, and was waiting for just the right moment.


          In reply to: Tales of Tw’Elves


            Luigi recalled reading something about the kraken, that it was sometimes mistaken for an island. Some of the more far fetched notions said the kraken moved so slowly that he could be mistaken for an island for many thousands of years in between each blink of his eye. On the other hand, some said that the real danger to sailors was not the creature itself but rather the whirlpool left in its wake. The idea of a kraken on crack awakening with anything like a relative alacrity would create a whirlpool of considerable propertions, Luigi surmised. He hoped the government would come up with a plan to keep it sleeping awhile longer. At least until he’d heard some news of Flinella.


            In reply to: Snowflakes of Tens


              There was no place like home, notwithstanding that home could be considered to be anywhere at all. Home in this case was Blithe’s patio one balmy September evening. Citronella candles flickered on the table, and coloured fairy lights strobed in strings along the facade of the house. A rosy glow emanated from the bedroom window and Blithe took a snapshot, noticing later the fly screen visible, overlayed onto the bedroom scene. Not only was the view of the bedroom limited by the width of the camera lens, it was also limited in the sense that the wire screen was obscuring almost half of what would have been visible if the photograph had been taken from the other side of the screen, or, with no screen at all in between the lens and the view of the room. However, despite having such a partial view of the whole, the remainder that was viewable was still identifiable as a bedroom.

              Blithe wasn’t about to remove the screen however, because it was doing its job of screening, or filtering out, the unwanted insects. That wasn’t to say that she was denying the existance of those insects, or that they weren’t welcome on the other side of the screen, just that she was selectively screening the unwanted items from a particular scene. If, for example, the room was full of insects, Blithe might have been preoccupied with them, to the exclusion of whatever else she might have preferred to focus on within the bedroom. Out on the patio, however, the insects were, if not always entirely welcome, appreciated. The praying mantis and the dragonfly were welcome, and the butterflies and moths were always welcome, because Blithe had associated the energy of those insects with familiar welcome energies. The wasps, flies and ants were not translated in the same way, but were appreciated for entirely different reasons, being an aid to exploring such issues as irritation (and occasionally, pain). Blithe had to admit that despite the praying mantis and dragonfly being welcome, it would not be true to say that they were welcome in the bedroom, however.

              There had been times when Blithe wished that the whole patio was enclosed in screens, but the trouble with screens was that they tended to filter out everything of a certain size, although perhaps that was more a beleif about physical screens than anything else. Was it possible to filter out flies and wasps, but allow dragnflies and butterflies? Possible surely, she thought, but perhaps not with physical wire screen devices and associated beleifs.

              A few days previously Blithe had cleaned the mesh filter on her kitchen tap, unrestricting the flow. Coincidentally, her friend had also had a tap mesh restricted flow incident, and had removed the mesh filter altogether. Another friend had removed a window screen for cleaning, and had chosen not to replace it, as she was appreciating the allowance of much more light. And then another friend had mentioned a dream, of dragonflies under a screen that was covering a pool. She had lifted the screen in the dream, to allow the dragonflies to escape, and yet some of the dragonflies chose to stay under the screen.

              Intrigued with the words screen and mesh, which meant the same thing in one respect, but not in others, Blithe investigated the definitions. To screen could be to filter out the unwanted, but to mesh was to weave together. But were they so different, really? A screen was also a blank place on which to project images ~ meshed and woven selectively screened and filtered images, perhaps.

              {link ~ weaving}


              In reply to: Strings of Nines


                Mandrake had been on Yikes’ trail for what seemed to be like ages, closely followed by Arona, the silly dragon and that demigod Arona seemed to have grown so fond of.

                As they were walking, flying and hopping further North, they had passed the Forest of Endless Desolation, just through the Isthmus of Ghört’s Hammer where the whaling laments of the lamanatees were luring the careless travellers in pits of dark despair, only for them to sink in cores of boiling lava if they strayed too far away from the darken wizened old sticks that once had been luxuriant trees.

                Mandrake would have made a meal of the dreaded lamanatees, but Arona had thought safer for them to plug their ears with candle wax and invoke their Mother guidance to help in their quest to find the lost boy. Little had she thought of the pain it would be to scrap it off his catly ears without turning wax into furballs, and his ears into a prickly mess.
                These minor troubles apart, they had gone through Arona’s homeland, the pretty Golfindely, which was only a soft consolation before they got to the far ends of it, where land, water and ice meld and become one. It was the threshold, the passageway to the homeland of the dragons, where only Sorcerers and their likes were known to have been and returned.

                It was there that the sabulmantium had hinted Yikes would been found.


                When Minky came finally back to the High Priestess of the Pendulous and Loose Otherworldly Threading —aka Messmeerah (Winky) Maymhe—, Messmeerah was taking a dip into the Rejuvenation Pool. Her last vials of bleufrüsh blood had been all drunk, and she was starting to get all sagging after mere hours out of the icy waters.

                She welcomed with a large smile, the sack Minky was carrying as a treasure, where Yikes was calmly waiting.
                “Thank you Miny” she said, throwing some ashes to the minion who, in a puff, instantaneously transformed into a large redhair rat, which disappeared behind Messmee’s luscious green hair.

                “There, there, there, look what we got…” she finally said ominously to the boy who was considering the naked green evil fairy in front of him with a rather interested and mildly amused glance. “Don’t you have anything to say?” she said, raising an eyebrow, maybe slightly disappointed at the lack of frightened reaction.

                “Oh, looks like you’re a genuine green fairy, “ he said staring at her with a smile.


                In reply to: Strings of Nines


                  :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling: :yahoo_whistling:

                  “What on earth are you doing?” asked Lilac.

                  “Whistling for aurora’s, silly” replied Nasturtium, commonly known as Nasty. “We did an energy pooling for auroras to come further south the other day, and I just heard from Petunia that they’ll come if we whistle. So I’m whistling!”

                  Lilac rolled her eyes and wandered off into the kitchen to put the kettle on. Nasturtium grinned when she heard Lilac whistling. Or was it the kettle?

                  “You know that bright aurora green?” Nasturtium said as Lilac returned with two steaming mugs of tea. “Well, my TV went that colour yesterday, green all over it was, bright green, just like the green of aurora’s.”

                  “I suppose you’ll be saying it was a personal visit from the aurora people” replied Lilac with a snort.


                  In reply to: Strings of Nines


                    Messmeerah (Winky) Maymhe, High Priestess of the Pendulous and Loose Otherworldly Threading, was going for a bath into the Pool of Rejuvenation. Her ineffable beauty had started to show the early signs of time tampering —signs she’d learnt to notice as soon as they’d appear. Luckily, the moons were in perfect alignment for the rituals of Spring Beautusk*.

                    News were good, very good indeed —which would certainly help in maintaining her perfect brow and forehead in pristine smoothness.
                    News were so good that she’d sent her minion Minky fetch the boy just right after her white crow Saggin had came back with news of finding him… after all those years (not that years did matter to her anyway, she prided herself on that).

                    It’d been close to an eternity, and she weighted her words… (in actuality it was a few teens and futile years at most) that she’d been trying to recover the boy, but the dwarfs had played her, and had managed to hide him from her sight.
                    She had not thought he could be concealed by anyone powerful enough, and it was surely not by the magic of that headless Malvina and her pesky dragons. In fact, the boy had been concealed even after Malvina and her menagerie had left the boy and his caretaker. She was thinking the caretaker in question had a concealment charm far more powerful she thought could exist.

                    But Minky would surely take care of that.

                    • It should be said that one of the effects of the rituals of Spring Beautusk were a slight stiffness of the overall face (and other dipped body parts), which earnt Messmeerah the cute and albeit ironic sobriquet of Winky, as she hardly managed to blink and was often victim of bouts of winking when she tried too hard.

                      The pop-corn rain usually laid a crunchy crusty yellow blanket on the lands of Peasland, a mild contrast with the pea-green tint of the lands in the season of Spea’ing.
                      In late Summer, New Peasland’s weather used to be the season of subs-tractors, big-wheeled vehicles which harvested the blown up corn of the fields, one of the rare alternatives to pea soup and marmite. Sadly, with all the blubbits around, hardly a few popcorns were left for the noble people of Peasland to eat, spread in muddied pools tainted of blubbits poohs.

                      “This has to cease!” Pee Stoll muttered after another raucous gurgling of his belly. The great portal of Nibabuz was a few days walk, and they would need all their strength to get there. Blessed was his dear Penelope, who’s been gleaning the few edible popcorn from the last shower and was feeding their heads on the mantelpiece.


                        That unexpected call from the Dean had put the Fisherman in abyss of perplexity.

                        The fishes weren’t really his prime concern. He only needed to paint a little red nose on one of the cloud fishes to stir the others out of their unerratic routine. :fish: :yahoo_clown:
                        The matter wasn’t really worth his coming back to the Worseversity, but he and the Dean knew better. If the fishes had snapped into that randomless routine, it was most probably a protective reflex to anticipate some trauma.

                        Trauma hadn’t really been seen in ages —in fact, not even once since the Great Shift, which had been an orgiastic experience of trauma of all kinds for people prone to indulge into this emotional drug. The coincidence had not been lost on the two old men. Of all the Worseversity’s, there were very few true artifacts remaining from before the Great Shift; barely a handful of them. Most of the known artifacts were in actuality clever re-creations from older designs, but not the “real” thing. And for good reason actually; most of the laws of physics had changed since, and made almost all of the older designs broken and unusable.

                        The pool was hiding one of these few artifacts that had mysteriously gone through the Great Shift without decaying. Furthermore, this very artifact was quite old, and signed by the visionary architect Rumbold the Pale boasting in carved letters which had once been golden, now mostly erased by the passing of times: “The real game is only played whence it started”.

                        That fishy omen seemed so dire that it couldn’t help but put the Fisherman out of his lifelong passion questing for the great Trouts of the Universe.


                          Sha and Glo were looking at the Aerial Pond of Cloud Fishes in their blobby glowing spectral form.

                          “A shame we’re dead… That school of fish is sure somethin’”
                          “You’re thinking what I’m thinking Shar?”
                          “Well, of course; we’re dead and psychic, bloody hell Glor!”

                          Glor was glad that she was dead sometimes, and this was such a time. She’d found Sharon’s usual rude rebuking was far easier to handle in that state.

                          “Well, I would love to dive in that pool too, like in that documentary…”
                          “Exactamundo! Have the school of fishes eat dead skin and give it back its young fresh and peachy glow.”

                          “I think we better find some quick way to get back in Shar…”
                          “Not to bloody worry Glor, it already looks like our subliminal sex enticements have worked very well; would be a shame no one would get preggers with all that fornication going around!”
                          “I’m starting to wonder what it would be like if that’s the nine-titted alien going first though… I’m told their pregnancy is quicker than human’s…”


                            Gremwick was glad the Fisherman had come to repair the Cloud Fishes of the Inner Aerial Pool of the Worseversity.

                            It’s been a few days that he’d noticed an unusual lack of randomness in the swimming patterns of the little Cloud Fishes.
                            As they were usually used for the divination courses, no sooner was the issue identified than the students had to temporarily recourse to the use of pigeons for their assignments —which sadly left a stinking trail of devastation on the usually pristine marble floors that greatly infuriated Charity, the cleaning lady, otherwise known for her great patience and candor, who’d kept cursing like a sailor against the winged demonic creatures the last past weeks.

                            The incident in itself was not of immense consequence in the grand scheme of things, but it felt worrisome for the Dean that these swimming creatures known for their quite reliable and, yes, totally unfloundering randomness had suddenly decided to adopt a monotonous pattern.
                            In that disposition, they were merely echoing the requester’s requests in a manner of a mirror instead of evoking strange and obscure meanings from the depths of the universe.

                            It had amused the students very much, as it was making their assignments apparently far easier —there was no thing left in need of deciphering, unless the students’ requests were themselves incoherent, which could on occasion happen especially after the Special Crop Circle Lessons. As no incident was without meaning, the Dean had pondered this one, but without any satisfactory answer as of yet.

                            At least, it had been the occasion to meet the Fisherman, and to ponder on the plainness of a world without unpredictability.


                              Ann glanced vaguely over the bookcase, wondering where her dictionary was. Did people still use dictionaries in book form? I suppose any book will do for the purpose, she decided, and reached for the nearest book, a book about Rembrandt. She opened it randomly five times, using a ball point pen as a pointer, and selected five words for Prof Underbaker’s assignment.


                              What a coincidence, I might be able to kill two birds with one stone here, Ann thought, with a slight shudder at the bird killing metaphor (if it was indeed a metaphor, Ann tended to skip the Labelling Words classes)…


                              Ah, but who? Who shall I excite?


                              Pointed in the right direction? Addressed someone pointedly? Not to put too fine a point on it…


                              Ann was interested to note that her selection of words started with the word NOW and ended with TIME, and popped it into her clue box in an effort to stay on course and finish the assigment.


                              There was no time like the present. Indeed T’Eggy was well aware that All is Now, she’d heard about that theory in Wicks, the online magazine that she’d found so enlightening. She’d been reading a copy of Wicks (a reproduction, the originals were now collectors items and very valuable ~ in an artifact rather than a monetary value kind of way, monetary value having been devalued in the early part of the century) in the teleport waiting room when she met the handsome foreignor in the dusty blue robes. Of course, it was not unusual to meet foreignors in the teleport waiting room, not unusual at all, but the tall, dark, and handsome stranger had excited her. Perhaps it was the flash of long lean tanned thigh that she glimpsed as his robes caught on the door knob. Of course, even the ‘waiting room’ was a retro touch, because there was no need to ‘wait’ for teleport travel. It seemed ironic in a way that folks in the old days had perceived ‘waiting’ as an onerous thing, an somewhat unpleasant period of clock watching and crossword puzzle books. These days ‘waiting rooms’ were popular places to meet people and choose probability pools. The latest trend was Turtle Nights, and Frog Nights, where men and women gathered in waiting rooms to choose partners, to find that special someone, loosely based on the old Hen and Stag nights.

                              “Do teleport stations have door knobs, Ann?” Pedro interjected.

                              “Oh!” Ann was momentarily non plussed.

                              “Non plussed? Is that a word?” asked Pedro.

                              Pedro, stop interrupting! The assigment isn’t to design a teleport station!”

                              The teleport station had been designed in retro style, a facsimile of the Atocha train station in Madrid. Lack of need for physical details had not resulted in a lack of appreciation for physical detail simply for it’s artistic merit, not to mention historical educational value, and the TRANS (Teleport Relative to Any Now Space) Station was an award winning example of old fashioned detail. Why, it even had doorknobs, even though doors had been dispensed with several decades ago.

                              “I thought the assigment wasn’t to design a teleport station?” asked Pedro.

                              “Does it bloody matter?” retorted Ann, with a hint of exasperation. “The overall point is to write rubbish, and that’s what I’m doing!”

                              “I’m glad you pointed that out, Ann” remarked Pedro helpfully.

                              “Oh my god, look at the time!” Ann exclaimed. “It’s time for class!”

                              “Bugger that!” snorted Pedro. “I’d rather hear about what happened with T’Eggy and that tall dark stranger!”


                              In reply to: Strings of Nines


                                Back in January, her friend Ronda had asked her if she wanted to come with her to a seminar in Madrid, one of these loonatics seminar. She wasn’t interested herself in that kind of gathering of freaky people and she wouldn’t have accepted if Ronda hadn’t offered to pay for her expenses.

                                That was the perfect occasion and the perfect time, with the crisis her little enterprise was sinking rapidly and money had never been so scarce. Those would be the perfect holidays, even if she would have to spend some time among some loonatics.

                                So in March here they went in Madrid. The hotel was simply gorgeous and as they told the biggest in Europe.

                                It was perfect again.

                                Not that the rooms were big, though they were quite expensive, but there were so many sculptures and paintings, so many trinkets :raw-crystal: :crystal-skull: in the lobby and in the lounge… and there was a pool!!! She could see herself flirting :face-kiss: with one of those rich loonatics, always ready to spend money on glass pyramids that had properly been tachyonised :yahoo_hypnotized:

                                That’s where her life changed and that she realized she needed STRUCTURE in her life.

                                It happened during one of these meditations by a certain T’Eggy, a still active porn star, the favorite of Marvin Scrozzezi… and she was also doing seminars!!!
                                When she saw her, Patricia thought her face was familiar, and that’s when she saw the groupies in the first row, all of them wearing the leopard superstrings that had been made mass spread by her performance in the latest Marvin Scrozzezi. Patricia had one of them, but the superstring hadn’t resist her generous forms or she would have bring it to the party… well that’s another story.

                                T’Eggy was stressing the need of structure that they all needed in their lives and she made her points listened and watched with a few scenes of her recent and not so recent movies. Everybody was charmed and she made them laugh with her story about when she played the millionaire waiting for Bill the milkman…

                                Ronda was not really interested by T’Eggy and a bit shameful of her adoration of T’Eggy, Patricia had to sneak out during the break and she bought a few books, amidst which “The Pelvic Respiration” or “Release your Stress in a Gang Bang”. She also bought a few vials of the special Dr. B. Cream which said “Rejuvenate your Vagina”… apparently made with some blue spiders silk and venom. She went quickly in her room and hid her purchases in her suitcase before returning for the Channeled Music of the Chinese Swamps Monastery and the Channeling of the Big ErectoMagnetic Stick called Fryzon.

                                Patricia didn’t listen to all of that, she was already imagining all the ways she could structure her new life with the pelvic meditation.


                                  Harvey was pretty disappointed; he would have preferred a cute pygmy hippo rather than the squealing little litter of pigglets. Granted, he would have had to change the bathtub to an Olympic sized pool, but rather that than having to build a barn for elephants.

                                  The silver lining was that the elephants were water-hosing the pig’s pooh outside very efficiently.


                                    With the flood of water that was spilled on the land after the crash of the plastic-wrapping-the-now-melted-iceberg-ship dragged along by the strong pull of the engine for miles inside the lands, a huge pool had started to form that began to gather animals around.

                                    The blessings of the fresh water was in fact such that, not long before they managed to have their feet back on terra firma, the three valiant musketeers Sharon, Gloria and Mavis with their chivalric Akita and his faithful spirit dog Kay were surrounded by the most diverse fauna they’d been seeing in days.

                                    — Lookit that! Can ye believe it?!
                                    — Zebra, zebra,… ZEBRA!
                                    — What’s up with your underwear Glor’?
                                    — Zee-bras, no bloody brassieres! See?!
                                    — Well, no bloody wonder, it just looks like the Serengeti
                                    — What bloody gothic serum?
                                    — Jeeze, Serengeti! In Tanzania… Africa, the land of the Maasai, bloody Lake Victoria et cætera
                                    — Oh, you don’t start getting that snotty tone again…

                                    Leaving for a moment the ladies at their cultural talks, Akita went for a walk with Kay, looking for some clues on how to get moving in this faraway place. He’d hoped to reach Egypt and the Suez Canal to get the ladies back to Europe, but obviously the single-use strange iceberg-ship was planned for Africa, and not much further.

                                    Kay always had most puzzling associations to bring up in their conversations. “Well,” he’d say “besides all these blue bulls isn’t it funny that the zebras are a variety of indigo’s…”

                                    “You’re a funny dog”, Akita told him “what is that supposed to mean?”
                                    “Obviously it’s an analogy…”
                                    “A bit too bloody subtle” Akita was starting to talk awfully like the ladies…
                                    “Zebras are symbols for a people who have a funny way of blending in… Or actually to not blend in. They’re symbols of the weirdos of your societies. Affectionately said, of course. I do consider you and your girlfriends a bit on the weirdo side by the way…”
                                    “Well, that’s nice… I suppose?”
                                    “It’s all symbols, and it’s dream-time, so pay attention dear one.”
                                    “If you say so” Akita said with a shrug
                                    “It is not uncommon to find in dream interpretation books some funny sentences like

                                    Dreaming of zebras running fast indicates you are interested in fleeting enterprises. If you dream of a wild zebra in its native environment, you might try a pursuit that could bring unsatisfactory results. Beware of those with multicolored stripes.The Everything Dreams Book

                                    “Now,” Kay was continuing his near-monologue as they were still walking “what is that supposed to mean; if that were a dream you were dreaming, would you use that one-fits-all approach to interpret that zebra dream?”
                                    “Who cares, really, it’s not as if I’m dreaming anyway…”
                                    “Of course, you’d know better; but anyway, that brings me to the multicoloured zebras. There are children who have started some years ago to manifest en masse on this planet with different views, a wildly different approach on life. People around your world have started to label them “indigos”, another shade of blue if you will. I wouldn’t be so circumspect in my dealing with funny coloured animals, if I were you…”
                                    “I’ll be damned if I understood a word of what you just said… Perhaps you’re right and I’m dreaming after all…”
                                    “You can say that again.”


                                      Many people were gathered at the Soft Pool in the Garden of The Orientations.
                                      Some of them were sitting here still and smiling, their eyes closed and open to the different energies surrounding them. Some of them were standing others walking around and a few ones were running following seemingly random patterns. Their movements were the perfect match of the energy connections between each participant, physical and non physical.

                                      It was like a shining crystal, some rays of light/attention creating an instant connection and an instant energy exchange which need not be continuously maintained, many different connections were being created and were lasting as long as necessary, sometimes a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes, and others mere moments.

                                      His interactions fulfilled, Sam gathered his attention toward his new goal and he left the crowd at its game, the energy of the experience still present inside his energy field.


                                        — Well, to me it’s pretty obvious now that all that we put in this story kind of manifests quickly…
                                        — Quite. The book, the magazine, the travels,… Amazing, even the most delirious things do actually manifest, even if not physically!
                                        — Heck, no! Good thing not all that stuff manifests physically; well you can never be sure either, but seems some of it best be manifested in other ways.
                                        — Or soon enough we’ll find a news coverage on it…
                                        — Ahah, yeah. Now, I wonder…
                                        — What?
                                        — Should we keep that a…
                                        — A what?
                                        — You know the word, a S-E-C-R-E-T
                                        — What?! Are you crazy?
                                        — Well, one never knows; there might be all sorts of loonies out there wanting to insert all sorts of stuff in this book now.
                                        — Ahahaha, you must be kidding; I thought WE were the loonies ;))
                                        — You have a point… Well, I mean anyway, it’s not like it’s because of the book either; it’s just because we focus our intents through the writing, and pool energies…
                                        — Indeed. And there are no such things as sea-crates anyway.
                                        — So now the question is… What do we want to put in there for the next 6 months?
                                        — Is it too late for foie gras and gingerbread toasts?


                                          “Is there a probable Becky still at the Serendib Facility ~ in-the-rural-mountainous-central-region-of Sri-Lanka-in-the-2030’s ~ Godfrey?” Elizabeth hurriedly included some background information in her question to appease her publisher, the erudite and enigmatic Godfrey Pig-Littleton.

                                          Elizabeth was amused to note that erudite was almost an opposite to rude, but as Elizabeth could vouch for, neither was mutually exclusive, as Godfrey was clearly equally at ease exhibiting both ends of the rude spectrum. But I digress, she said to herself, turning her attention to Godfrey.

                                          Elizabeth,” he said with a frown, “At your request I have had installed all manner of information retrieval systems, both objective and subjective, and yet you will insist on asking me questions instead of accessing the information yourself.” Godfrey shivered, attempting to wrap his velvet smoking jacket closer round his spare frame. The rich claret colour suited him perfectly, but it was clearly inadequate against the bitter cold. “Put another log on the fire, Liz, it’s colder than a witches tit in here today!”

                                          “Don’t be rude, Godfrey” replied Elizabeth with a sniff. “I’m too cold to move, you do it. I’ve been absolutely frozen ever since Al sent us all to the South Pole. As a matter of fact, there’s been a cold snap all over the globe, which is why” she continued “I am trying to get us all out of there and back to Sri Lanka! We don’t want to start another Ice Age, Godfrey, this has to stop.”

                                          “Ah, those were the days” smiled Pig Littleton. “I remember it well. It all started when Aunt Jeanne du Bappe was writing her book and wanted more ice for her G&T. Somehow it all escalated out of control, and before you could say Boo to a Goose, the whole place was covered in glaciers. A few million years later, when she’d slept off the effects of the gin, it was just beginning to thaw…”

                                          “Dear old Jeanne, where is she now? I haven’t heard from her for…er, aeons.”

                                          “Oh, she’s in fine fettle, got a job in The City you know. They say she’s quite something in The City these days, got quite a name for herself in Design & Communications.”

                                          “Has she now! She’s done well for herself then, last I heard she was tiling kitchens in New Venice.”

                                          Pig Littleton snorted. “Aunt Jeanne du Bappe, tiling in New Venice? Don’t be ridiculous, Liz, you’re getting your timelines in a twist. I expect that was one of her protegée’s, Aunt Jeanne’s been in The City for —well…”

                                          Godfrey was uncharacteristically stumped.

                                          Elizabeth wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to tease her old friend. “For how long?”

                                          “For a very long Now”

                                          “Well, I must say, that’s a fine thing isn’t it, to start an ice age and then bugger off to The City while everyone else freezes their tits off” said Elizabeth, blowing on her hands to warm them.

                                          “You do realize, Liz dear, that every time you mention the word Cold, or Frozen, or Ice Age, you are increasing the potential of the Ice Age in the Probability Pool?”

                                          Godfrey, the Probability Pool has frozen over. We’ll be skating right over the top of it instead of dipping into it, if we don’t start a thaw soon!”


                                            “So we’ll be moving as soon as the others come back from their trip. Very well, that will be a great opportunity to see new environments for YikesVincentius acknowledged the news with his usual composure.

                                            “Very well then, I hope you are not too worried about Arona, but she…”
                                            “Not at all” Vincentius answered with a smile.
                                            “Oh… Okay then. Perfect!”

                                            Malvina added as if to make sure he had understood everything properly “So, I’ll be at my friend’s den for a few days. Georges and Salome will be here in case you need anything, and of course Buckie, though he might be a bit unpredictable…”

                                            “Have a safe voyage” so Vincentius, who was not of many words when it wasn’t about saying something meaningful, ended the conversation.


                                            To go to see her friend Yimho, Malvina wanted to look pretty —not dashing, but not looking like a country girl either. She reached for the linen embroidered dress with the zynder patterns. She loved it, it would be perfect.

                                            Yimho was a guy living nearby she had known briefly from her days of Sorcery training, who had a rejuvenating cave situated just under a hot spring, so that water was running almost everywhere inside the cave. On the walls, the floor, little pools everywhere. Yimho had this uncanny interest in golfindels and was telling all sorts of stuff to entertain people with; stuff that he got from tuning himself to the consciousness of the creatures.
                                            Malvina was thinking she would have a nice time there, though the echoes of clicking sounds throughout Yimho’s dwelling were a bit disturbing…

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