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Some gathered story from the once and future City, with Tiles and other wonders.

So the Story goes...

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  • in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #188

    This morning, Fiona and Quintin had a small impromptu chat —or rather, prompted by the story they were all weaving, that Archie, the puppet black panther, had been telling them last week-end that it was a magic connection between all of them…

    Quintin: Your story was great!

    Fiona: Thank you :) So was yours.

    Have you written any more since I last looked at the story?

    Quintin: no, I’m not that much inspired… I even considered to wrap in up in a way, but seeing you were all drawing so much from it, I think I will leave it open ever after…

    Fiona: no, wrap it up if you feel.

    I have drawn what I wanted. I will go and blow up the cave if we don’t finish it :)

    Quintin: Ahahaha! Don’t restrict yourself ;)

    Fiona: When you started the Malvina story, did you have an idea where it would go, or did you pick that one because you had no idea?

    Quintin: This one nagged me because there were many people I felt behind it and I did not know how to get them to show up and make their presences known. And I felt that it was loose enough too, to allow people to jump into it; and there was your initial interest in the picture ;)

    Fiona: The endearing dragons…

    Quintin: Yeah…

    But I had strictly no idea about the rest. It was just a bet, on luck…

    That’s funny, because I had a strange impression of a little girl yesterday, in a futuristic city, named something like Janice , and it was like she knew now what she wanted to do, and it was something similar to that, something like creating worlds for other people, in which they could have fun, or heal, or explore things…

    Fiona: And did she have any impression of what form that could take? Like books, or games or what…

    Quintin: No, it was much more “real” in fact…

    Fiona: you know like the card-captor game which I suppose is interactive, so real

    Quintin: Yeah, perhaps a bit like that, yes; or like creating a ball of energy in which people can be drawn and experience as they will. It’s only a translation, but that’s the idea… in a way, that’s very similar to a game or a book, but only that it just feels totally “real”

    Fiona: So a little bit like I have done with the story, to resolve something

    Quintin: yeah, exactly, or with your paintings

    Fiona: It can be really useful to take on other personas to do that, even like in drama type situations, being someone else…

    Quintin: Yeah, people can unleash their imagination.

    And I think there are still lots of things that we can expand in this universe in fact, not only related to the cave…

    Fiona: such as? eggsamples?

    Quintin: You said it! The eggs and relationships with dragons, all the magical artifacts or creatures. Didn’t you want a baby dragon?

    Fiona: Yeah, I told you I did, but you just said some riddle!

    Quintin: Did I? That’s not like me ;)

    Fiona: Ahahhaha! It is you to the core

    Quintin: LOL, damn me!

    Fiona: Well, that is a bit strong, but …

    Quintin: Ahahahahah. I said you would have to earn his trust? (or hers, for that matter)

    Fiona: I can’t remember the eggsact wording, I think I had to work for it though, like you weren’t just handing out dragons on a plate

    Quintin: It could bound with you very strongly and help you unravel your unknown magical powers. It’s not just a creature, it’s a complex personality, you cannot just take it like a puppy. There is a sharing between the two…

    Fiona: So are you going to allocate baby dragons to people or what? Or shall I just go and find an egg that no one knew was there :)

    Quintin: Ahahah, no, they will not be allocated, they will choose their own partners

    Fiona: Ahahaha, one minute you say it is my story! And now you are back in control

    Quintin: Ahahaha, the story has a willing of its own too…

    Try to do what you want, it’s not a matter of control ; it’s just you’ll know what clicks and what does not…

    Quintin: And actually, I don’t think everyone will be interested in dragons…

    Fiona: How does a dragon help one learn magic powers?

    Quintin: It’s just because there is an openness between the two; let me find something for you, that Elias (you know, Michaela’s partner), has told to me and Yann, when we had them on the phone last month.

    Elias : I would express to you that, as you focus your energies with each other, and you allow yourselves to merge and feel into each others’ energies, you may in actuality each discover some obstacles that the other may not necessarily be aware of yet, and you can share that with each other, and therefore facilitate your interactions even further.

    Fiona: And how having a baby dragon could help unleash our magic powers then?

    Quintin: It helps because it reinforces your trust in your own abilities to connect. It’s not directing, it’s a sharing and exploration for both of them; that’s why they are picky. As you would be picky too, knowing you would share together all the darkest corners…

    Fiona: I am not sure if i have dark corners ;)

    Quintin: it was a metaphor :D

    Fiona: ahahahhahahahahahah

    Fiona: I know, so was mine :D

    Quintin: ahahahahah

    Fiona: I was thinking I feel really accepting of myself

    Quintin: Yeah, that’s the point in the little adventure before you meet it.

    You have shown your trust in yourself and in your abilities, and your self-centeredness, which is essential, for the dragon doesn’t want a frail personality. Because he drops his defenses too when he shares and bonds.

    Fiona: Well I think it sounds scarey now, what if no dragon picked me…

    Quintin: There will be instant recognition. And you don’t “need” a dragon actually, that’s what is important: it’s a catalyst, nothing more, nothing less…

    Fiona: True.

    Quintin: Like Arona managed to sneak into the cave without giving the answer to the riddle (egg-sitingly) because it mattered not to her, whatever the outcome, she was directing of herself.

    Fiona: I felt like I have pictures now to assist me. I link strongly to pictures as a quick reference when I start to feel something like a negative emotion, for instance I may start to worry about how I am going to have enough money, or whatever, and I could quickly link to the spider picture

    Quintin: you mean, you create an imagery, right? That is something which I like in your stories and emails; even though it is not necessary to create imagery, it’s always so entertaining, like having these funny creatures pop in the cave!

    Fiona: Ahahahaha yes

    Quintin: And also, in creating imagery, it helps you seeing it in a more neutral way

    Fiona: I suppose it is just a quick trigger for the desired belief. I can link in quickly with the child, when I start to feel left out, for example.

    Quintin: yeah, beliefs as an alphabet or a palette, neutral, but that can create words and sentences or images. And the imagery of the child was very similar for me, to that of the playfulness picture

    Fiona: Yeah, I know… That’s what I said to you with the playfulness picture

    Quintin: Of course, you know :)

    Fiona: That I related most to the figure of blue hat… and big feet

    Quintin: Ahahaha, stomping on the poor key-fish

    Fiona: Nearly…

    Quintin: Have to go now, thank you for this enjoyable conversation

    Fiona: See you! :)

    in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #261

    In searching for a sheet of paper to do some sketches of images going through his mind, Bill found an old poem he had started a long time ago, when he was feeling like he was completely transforming himself. He had not finished the poem, but had kept it all along…

    It said:

    I’ve been wandering through the valleys of death
    Where time knows no ending and all is gray
    And shadows seek nothing but oblivion itself
    In mazes of mist, minds’ errands led astray…

    Perhaps it was time to let go of useless things, Bill thought to himself.

    He watched the paper slowly smoldering and shrinking and falling to black and white cinders into the hearth.

    :fleuron:

    Before going to sleep that night, Quintin had the sensation of Janice’s presence. He was surprised, because she was no longer the little girl he had seen at times, but she was a very pretty young woman, with dark wavy hair.

    She had giggled at his surprise, telling him that yes, she was catching up with him…

    :fleuron:

    The City, year 2255 (%)

    Today was Janice’s birthday, but not her birthday as the Ancients, two and half a century from her time, would have counted it. It was counted from the time of the conception, as the future parents in this time were fully aware of the agreements they would have with the soul they would decide to give birth to.

    It was a reminder of this agreement between the parents and the child that was celebrated, and not the actual birth date.

    Janice had felt Cyprus’ presence quite strongly, and she decided to let herself open to the subjective communication. She was conversing with her friend Qixi, and sent her some energy to let her know she would probably remove her attention for a few moments, knowing she would be accepting.

    When she closed her eyes, she could immediately feel herself engulfed by the strong yet smooth energy of Cyprus; it was like being kissed by a swarm of blue sparkling butterflies.

    Then she opened her eyes.

    She was in an ancient classroom, with Cyprus focused as a teacher figure. Cyprus was seated behind her desk and came at once to great Janice.

    — Good morning!
    — Good morning Cyprus, you wanted to say something to me?
    — In actuality, you wanted me to tell you something, answered Cyprus with a mysterious smile.
    — Yes, I thought so. Is it about what I am choosing to do as an activity?
    — Correct.
    — You are aware that I want to be creating of worlds, and give them to people that would have commissioned them…
    — Yes, I am aware. And you wanted me to highlight some misconceptions about that.
    — Oh, misconceptions?
    — Yes. As you know, with these worlds that you create, you have infinite potential of explorations. You also know that they are not independent from the rest, even when you take great care of encapsulating them in an energy field. And as such, they are not cut-off from yourself, as soon as you deliver them.
    — It feels like a tremendous responsibility.
    — It is, and it is not. The responsibility is to yourself, as always. But, I wanted you to be aware that you hold some responsibility, to examine your own injections into these worlds that you create, so that you can be neutralizing what is not desired, and not merely hiding it deeper inside the world itself.
    — OK, I will do that…
    — Ahaha, there is another thing, my dear.
    — Oooh…
    — You also wanted me to make sure you understood what I meant.
    — Ahahaha, I see. Wiggling out won’t be as easy as I thought, Janice said with a smile. So, is it the reason for this classroom?
    — Nothing is hidden from you, as always.

    So Janice took a look at the sheet of paper on top of her own school desk.

    — I’ll be around if you need me, reassured Cyprus.
    — Thank you, said Janice

    The paper was like a spot test, with a few questions on it.

    :fleuron2:

    Study on a Few Contradictory Beliefs

    1. GUILT

    a. An old lord has lost contact with his son, because of harsh things said in the past.

    Write a short story about him realizing how guilt is not effective, and how past can be changed from the point of present by direct action.

    b. Detail the main beliefs you can see associated with this action of guilt.

    2. FEAR

    a. A man chooses to be disengaging by drowning in a river. During his transition, he faces his fears, helped in that by a friendly spirit. The fears take the forms of a forest of trees, all similar, with branches and malicious roots extending to him. In his previous life, the man thought he was a fool, as an excuse to stand out of the numb crowd. But now he faces this crowd again, only to be able to go on his journey and let go.

    Write a short paragraph about his journey. Place yourself from the perspective of both him and the friendly spirit guiding him through his fears, and see how he helps himself in realizing he does not need to push the fears away, and that they can disappear easily.

    b. Detail the beliefs associated with his madness, that he needs to let go of in order to be crossing the forest, and go to the Bridge of Daffoldils that leads to his cave of Self.

    DUPLICITY

    In association with the last two examples, detail how duplicity (belief in good versus bad) is influencing of each of the actions, and can be neutralised by accepting self and trusting that you shall not betray yourself.

    :fleuron:

    Janice gave her paper to Cyprus, who took it and held it for a moment, evaluating the answers.

    Cyprus then made it burst into a bluish dancing flame, and when the paper had disappeared, smiled at Janice lovingly.

    in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #298

    The City, year 2257

    Janice had just awoken from a strange dream, where she was watching big round cabbages being harvested in what looked like Quintin’s father garden. They were all firmly rooted on a black irrigation pole across the garden, and people were using strange devices to turn them all delicately and pick them afterwards. In the dream, there were black puppies too, sleeping in the straw of a kind of hut nearby. And she had seen another creature, and had been surprised first because it was unlike anything she had ever met, even in dreams. It was hairless and brown as soft mud, and was hiding in the neighbour’s garden. Then it had crossed and came to play with her…

    Janice was lost in her thoughts strolling on the way to the common dome, when she met Rodney, her father’s friend.
    They had been recently trying with her father Jacob, and also Qixi to connect with their shifting focuses of the Ancients, two centuries and half before their time.
    Some of them, they had found, had been playing a sort of game of story-telling and clue-sowing… (Janice was laughing as her father’s friend, the scientist Arkandin, always insisted on seesawing instead)

    Perhaps her dream was telling her that the crop was ripe, and it was time to harvest some from it. She told her dream to Rodney. All at once, he was quite excited and they started to feel they wanted to chat more freely. So they went into one of the Medraw Caps that was available and soon imagined a comfortable environment for themselves to explore more.

    Janice could hear Al or Quintin complain about how things were getting confusing.
    She tried to convey to both of them that they could be excited about it, as it was expanding their understanding, but they weren’t very receptive.

    ~~~

    Somewhere Al was saying to Becky
    — The more you try to fix it, the more confused I am
    — Hahahahah yes! Becky was answering, I guess so! Ahahahah! Al, what a fabulous dance of confusion we do… The Confundo Tango
    — Ahahah, yes!

    Al started again to moan:
    — So who’s dead, who’s the shapeshifter? Who’s the human, who’s the cat? :-??

    (Rodney was laughing, as for him, he could accept the confusion as much easier, letting him free to wander around!)

    Illi was a woman, a shapeshifter who shape-shifted into a cat, then, she died. Becky was saying (Rodney added mentally “Now, she is disengaged” as he knew that “death” was a confusing word.) She was an archaeologist
    — Okay, that’s cool, that’s what I thought, Al acquiesced. Then thought back of what was said of her and wondered… Anyway, it will probably find a perfect answer …
    Becky nodded
    — I got lost myself when two Illis appeared, and a grip-thing as well
    — Because I didn’t want the grip-thing to be dead! Al couldn’t help but laugh. That would have been too easy, like wiggling out. Not using your imagination within the context of objective imagery to sort out “things”…

    ~~~

    While Rodney and Janice were seeing that their other focuses were kind of stuck in their explanation, they had time freeze and both decided to come back to their “now” to start from their understanding.
    A funny thought had come to Janice, that she shared with Rodney.
    — Oh, the funny thing you know, about Becky having written to Sean
    Rodney nodded. Janice continued:
    — It just appeared in my mind just moments ago, at the same time you (well, Rafaela) inserted into the story of Malvina. That Becky would have been asking Sean something, and that perhaps it would have helped him talk to his father in the future.

    — Well, that Sean is SUCH AN ENIGMA! bumped Rodney a bit excited by the implications.
    — What do you mean? asked Janice, who just remembered that Sean Doran has a cousin named Dorean.
    — Who is he? Where is he? was asking Rodney now.
    Rodney was having a hard time remembering what had been inserted yet in the story about him.

    So Janice manifested the Wrick family tree in front of them, so that he could see better. She started by manifesting an acorn, then threw in on the grass, and it sprung forth in a little sapling with signs hanging from its branches.

    — Well, it’s all in the script, answered Janice, he’s Lord Wrick’s son.
    — Oh boy, I am in trouble again for not keeping up with the facts! Rodney sighed, and laughed…
    Janice laughed “So that you can surprise yourself again!”

    Rodney felt thankful for the sumafiness of Janice who was always prompt to display helpful hallucinations and reminders.

    Janice stopped the growth of the family tree for a moment and started to comment it.
    — See, in Becky’s time of the reality play, Sean is Lord’s Wrick son, and has just lost his wife Margaret, and got his two young children around their 10s.
    — When is Becky’s time then? Rodney wondered, I hadn’t though of that…
    Becky’s time for the reality play is around 2033…
    Then Janice had the tree grow again, and sprout more branches from Sean’s children:
    — …Now, Sean is the grand-father of the twins, except than the twin’s time is around 2057 if it had not changed yet. It’s so carefully woven, but it’s fun how it effortlessly came to fit in.
    TRUST AND ALLOWING AND GOING WITH THE FLOW cried Rodney and Janice in unison, in the realisation of how well all this was.

    Rodney was beginning to remember it all.
    — I just remember the part about Sean, so he is still a bit of a mystery
    — Yes, absolutely
    — We don’t really know do we why Hilarion didn’t mention him
    — Oh, there’s also the Margaret newspaper thing… Janice fumbled in her memory to find the proper link that would display the image of the newspaper cut just at the right of the family tree. Adding with a wink “with more dates to get bearings”
    — Ahahah, I’d love to have pocketfuls of ball bearings said Rodney who manifested a pocketful to distract him from the load of information. OH YES! he cried, I had forgetten about this! What an incredibly HUGE story this is…

    Rodney was squinting his dream eyes
    — So, Sean was into humanitarian effort after 2001…
    — His father actually I think, said Janice. He was a bit too young.
    — Oh OK, I misread, that’s hard to read!

    Then, all of a second, Rodney erupted in an uproarious laugh
    AHAHAHA, I had just forgotten to de-hallucinate these pince-nez spectacles! Now, it is much easier to read!
    Janice was laughing so hard, she thought she would shatter the hallucination with the wobbles of the soundless sounds.
    Then she added:

    Sean is born around 2000, a bit before.
    — OK, maybe he went to help the Tuaregs, Rodney was accessing some information now. Maybe he was the one who put the mummy in the locked room that India found.
    — You know I had something funny in store for the mummy mystery, Janice couldn’t help but laugh again. I imagined we could have inserted Old Manon, coming down to secretly drink from her old malt whiskey’s flask, and finding them messing up with her old dear stuffed cat…
    — Maybe the mummy was the same one that Dory saw in the oblong hole in the ground outside the cave, Rodney was still accessing flickering images swirling around his head. And Sean was there helping the Tuaregs and moved it to safety.
    Of course, years previously, Illi Fergusson, the archeologist had buried the mummy there too for safe keeping.

    Now, Janice was hooked:
    — Was it where Illi learned about shapeshifting tricks from the old tribe?
    Rodney noticed Janice’s funny remark and laughed before continuing:
    — The Tuaregs were conducting secret coleslaw experiments in the desert. In combination with sound and irrigation techniques, they were going to run the entire Sahara into a broccoli field.

    Janice was amazed at the cabbage “coincidence” and irrigation stuff with her dream of that morning. Of course she knew there where probably mis-interpretation of the imagery coming from Rodney’s visions, but something made sense.
    — Around which year? she asked
    — Arrggh I don’t know!… Then, taking a breath of dream air, Rodney said “1923”. When Illi learned shape-shifting trick, 1923.
    — It makes sense, said Janice who was now thinking of other dispersed informations about Illi Fergusson.
    — Yes, she learned from Dashine Ashara… Although who that is, I don’t yet know.
    — Wow, said Janice. She had felt a connection with the “da’sheen” sound. She continued: somewhere, Illi Fergusson has said: “my parents were aristocrats”
    — Yes, answered Rodney who was accessing again, they were, and they knew the Wildes .
    — And it was said too: “[…] a nurturing presence that reminded Illi of the maid she and her parents had in their cottage in South Africa”… like her parents were traveling a lot.
    — Ah, South Africa! Illi’s parents emigrated to South Africa with Sir Abingdon Portfellow, an elderly scholar on ancient artifacts and embalming.
    — Seems she knew John Lubbock too, said Janice again, reviving old data banks of information. Dates seem okay, so if she was around 30 in the Tuareg adventure, she could have met him.
    — Wow, said Rodney, this is even more interesting…

    “But we may sit at home and yet be in all quarters of the earth.” Janice had just summoned the voice of the naturalist and archaeologist. Rodney applauded “Lubbock said that? cool quote!”.
    — Yes, like Illi’s quote, which was from him “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”. I wonder if that’s one of your (Illi’s) overlapping focuses, said Janice

    — Well, Illi didnt stay long in South Africa with boring old whatever his name was, Rodney pursued
    — Yes, she was young with her parents. They were traveling…

    They were both amazed at the magical cooperation they were doing at that moment. Janice would have loved to share all of that with Qixi and Jacob, but probably their energies were present at the moment too, though not focused here.

    She then remembered something else:
    — Oh, and there is something else! Quintin’s dream of the woman detective. Let me fetch it she said, summoning now Quintin’s memory to talk to them.
    … by night, near a museum in London, in the 1920s. She was investigating a case of a strange disappearance near a small replicate of an Egyptian pyramid that had been put here for display. There had been an exposition of ancient artifacts in the museum, which had been recently unearthed by a team of archaeologists and graciously lent by Egypt’s officials. Strangely enough, the woman detective feels linked to the story, and is probably Dory
    Date fits again, she said in awe.
    — Perfect! said Rodney. She was of course Dory too, but in that focus she was Illi Fergusson… he slowed down, then said No! wait! The detective was another one of my focuses. The archeologist who stole the mummy for safekeeping was Illi.
    — Hmmm
    — Hmmm
    — So you are both the thief and the detective, the one who creates mystery for yourself, how interesting, giggled Janice.
    — Yes, and not only that Janice! Rodney was taking a mysterious air… I am the mummy too!

    Janice bust out laughing imagining Rodney in bandages. Yes, of course!
    Then, she had a name come with that: Apsh’un Shet she said, very self-absorbed.
    Now, that was Rodney’s turn to burst out laughing.
    — “I am not sure about that!”
    — Doubting my insights… mmm, how rude… Janice frowned then laughed again.
    — If you call me that, I may have to make you out to have a speech impediment
    — Sounds a good Egyptian name for me though, seems it means “Light of the Dawn
    — Does it? Oh that sounds nice…
    — Well, in some Egyptian dialect, yes. She was a Princess…
    — Hahaha! Reminds me of Aspen Shit. Rodney doubted Janice could be serious about that name, but Janice was now the one to be accessing some information.
    — Bit bossy Princess
    — Which dynasty?
    III rd, answered Janice, who fumbled in links of consciousness to find some timeline to project for them.
    — What year?
    Janice projected the timeline below then said
    — I’d say around 2657 B.C., in Ancients way of telling time.

    They both marveled at the splendid team work they had been doing, and hoped that the other focuses involved would be able to get some parts of their insights too.

    Rodney was seeing something else
    — There is also, a very fascinating link between Tassili in the Sahara and Egypt which is a mystery AND there is a connection with Egypt and Scotland too…
    Illi the gripshawk comes from the mysterious land of the Sands, south of the map fragment
    — We may unravel more than we think… Illi is an other dimensional focus of the Illi essence…
    — Yes she is. She is a connection too, being “lost” in the land of dragons after hopping through traveling portals…
    — Exactly
    — And they communicated because they are helping each other
    — Which is why she doesn’t always ‘fit’ into this reality’s energy configuration
    — And they have some difficulties at times with translations of other dimensional stuff
    — Yes! resulting in confusion!

    And they both laughed again, looking at the great tapestry of clues that was woven before their dream eyes.

    in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #326
    ÉricÉric
    Keymaster

      The unusual overwhelming heat, which had begun with the spring equinox had finally temporarily receded with the appearance of big opaque cumulonimbus filling the sky with a mute thunderous sound. The flickering glow was no longer enough for Raphael to distinguish the small dark characters dancing before his eyes, the storm having let the night pounce on them earlier than it should have.
      So, Raphael closed his thick leather-bound book and put it back into his burgundy backpack bag, inhaling deeply the air of the dusk, mollified by the music of the raindrops that ricocheted now discreetly on the rusty steel plates.

      The remaining passengers began to hurry around a meager dinner wrapped in dirty newspaper sheets, displaying energy resources that he felt incapable of. Feeling no hunger at all, he decided to go on the pontoon to taste the moisture exuding in the evening, this celestial water, soothing down the fever of this trip, which drew to a close. The boat continued to rend imperturbably through the obsidian sea, and the thick enveloping fog prevented them to distinguish the lights of the city that he could feel at a distance.

      This was not the first time, but at each of his return, the city seemed changed, this time ghostly apparition, once glittering pearl. This was undoubtedly one of the reasons which had him leave it, as others would have done with a lover, to better appreciate this fleeting moment of reunion.
      The book had been given to him by a stranger he had met, and was part of his mission; he didn’t usually accept assignments in this city where he was too obvious, but the stranger had assured him nothing illegal would be required of him, just delivering a book.
      He had leafed through the book, just to make sure there was no foul play on the part of this strange man with amber eyes that seemed to keep changing colours. But the book had seemed innocuous. Even worse, it did not make any sense for Raphael. The chapters were randomly numbered, and the text seemed to keep changing. Perhaps it was Raphael’s mind which played tricks on him, but it was baffling for him, as he was accustomed to keep his senses sharp as a dagger. Whatever,… The man had paid, and a plump pile of money even.

      The insistent rumors of a mysterious illness which had already claimed fatalities within the walls of the city had not deterred him to go there —knowing that the few people caring about him would have preferred to see him flee this destination, so certain as they were to be themselves immune to the contingencies of life. Even the bald adipose captain of the ship, Fat Yong Choi had seemed wary of having a pale-skinned foreigner coming on board of his boat, but he had quickly seen that Raphael was no common traveler.

      But there was no longer time to rehash those turpitudes, the harbour finally appearing, like a halo glow from the contours of which some faint sounds escaped, soon to be stifled by the purring and cracking of the bulging vessel.

      :fleuron:

      The winds began to sweep the docks violently, causing the cargo, now anchored, to oscillate wildly, like a huge weeble at the hands of the elements. Fortunately, due to the alarming news from the city, the boat was only half full, and the unloading was smooth. Raphael, unnerved by the long journey, only wanted to walk, but patiently followed the slow pace of the procession which led him outside of the harbour’s enclosure, even before he had noticed it.

      Raphael wanted above all to rest, but didn’t care to be bothered speaking to someone. He preferred to sink deep down in his thoughts while walking through the streets, rather than lose this feeling of freedom. Freedom to choose his own itinerary, without a word to say, entirely open to the silence of the streets.

      The fine drizzle had indeed deserted the streets making the city infinitely enjoyable for him. It was indeed just as he liked it best, at dusk, just faintly resonating with the sound of his own steps.
      Empty — a few passersby in search of a shelter nearby. He imagined to be a ghost haunting these places without life, enjoying the feeling of being the predator felinely prowling in this scene without spectators, shrouded in the reassuring complicity of the night.

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #359

      New Venice, year 2101

      In the waiting hall, Bart was pacing the floor recklessly. They were having their first baby, but the doctors had hushed him out, because there were some complications…
      All he could do was wait.
      They were one of the first couple to have tested the new program that allowed same-sex couples to procreate without requiring the assistance of a third-party so to speak. In fact, it had been hypothesized to be possible a long time ago already. Well, theoretically… because the most challenging part had been to bring acceptance to the people, as the old beliefs were still alive in a few moribund activist groups. But what,… nature was doing even more exotic things in the realm of creatures…

      Now he was thinking of Oscar, who had chosen to be the bearer of the child —a girl that would be… will be, mentally corrected Bart to himself. Funny thing about genetics was that male-male couples could have either girls or boys, but female-female couples could only have girls. Only because the male “Y” chromosome was carried by men.
      It had been a painstakingly long subject of discussion among scientists and philosophers as to the unbalance it would create, but well, for the time being, it was the chosen design for our human natures.
      As long as new ways of bypassing this restriction had not been invented, better enjoy it than stretching one’s mind around it.

      Looking at the window which showed the stilted structures above the waters, Bart was thinking how it was all an incredible story… What were the probabilities for that to happen?
      Bart couldn’t help but feel grateful for all of his blessings.

      At the same moment, the big breasted nurse appeared at the door crying with a large smile “it’s a healthy girl!”
      Bart burst into the room.

      :fleuron:

      They had already decided how she would be called. Midora, they had agreed.

      When he entered, Oscar Wrick’s young face was tired and sprinkled with beads of perspiration, but he had the happiest look on his face. He was still feeling a bit self-conscious about the changes the pregnancy had generated in his body, but for now he was all absorbed by the little breathing thing resting in his arms.

      After a warm embrace, Bartholomew Jobsworth thought that he should spread the good news to the family, at least to his mother, dear sparkling Indy and Bart’s parents, Eugenia and Cuthbert. He also had felt the presence of his Dad, Bill, during his wait and was deeply thankful for all of their support.

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #423

      New Venice, November 2101

      Midora was sleeping peacefully in her baby’s bed, and Oscar was dozing on the sofa, exhausted by his new role as a mother.

      Bart was slowly finding himself back to his old studies. Just before Oscar became pregnant with their child, he was occupied with an old parchment his mother Indy had given to him.
      She had said they had found it years ago with Oscar’s mum, her friend Eugenia. It was under a glass frame, among many other stuff she had accumulated along the years, mundane bric-a-brac flirting with sublime antiques —such was her mother strange decorative style…
      Bart had known the parchment all his life, and her mother had sworn he would have it when the time would be right. During all this time he had thought she would most probably forget it altogether.

      When Bill, his father had disengaged, two years before (only two months before the New Century’s festivities, at the age of 79) Indy had said she needed to make some room in her apartment, and get rid of old things which were full of memories. After all, she was only 49, and Bill hadn’t wanted to see her wither in sadness, that would be such a waste.
      She had given him the old parchment.

      Bart had always been so close to his mother, probably because she had him so young. She was 16 when they had married with Bill, and Bart was born right after. Of course, she always played the old flattery trick when people said she must be his big sister; it wasn’t actually far from the truth.

      When he was younger, Bart had fearful dreams, of dying in atrocious pain, full of rash, at a young age in an alien and sunny place.
      Curious as to what hint it may have been, Indy had been connecting with him to the energy of the dream. And together, they had tried to find the reason of that manifestation in the young boy’s dreams.
      Despite her having such a fleeting memory, India Louise was skilled at connecting to other focuses, and particularly group ones, and Bart had found many information thanks to her. And the fearful dreams had disappeared.
      He had found he was a young prince heir of the throne of Egypt, who was supposed to marry his sister. But both had died very suddenly. It was not quite clear as to whether the illness was the result of a plot from their father Pharaoh’s enemies, but the death was very unpleasant.
      So unlike Bill’s disengagement, which was peaceful and full of love.

      So yes, people were not far from the truth when they saw them as brother and sister.
      According to Indy, the parchment was found within a cache inside the sister mummy’s sarcophagus, and might be linked to their shared focus. But her own psychic skills only extended as far as to notice connections, not as to go into more depths. That investigation, he would be able to do.

      :fleuron:

      Egypt, 2657 B.C.

      :tile:
      Lekshen had finished writing down what the long snouted god of his dream, Set had dictated to him.

      It was a strange story, of Set being the god of the pariahs, throwing down structures of the Holy and the Truth, for the sake of expansion. Lekshen couldn’t understand all of what he had been talked into writing, but he had felt an intense activity and thrusts of gushing energy passing through him.

      He needed sleep before hiding the text with the mummy.

      :fleuron:

      Paris, 2007

      :tile: That symbol, Quintin had dreamt repeatedly about it… It was a tile, he was sure. It could be oriented in two ways, and, depending on its orientation, it meant either injection or ejection of energy structures. It was linked to the family of the Speakers.

      Let’s insert it again then, he smiled to himself.

      :fleuron:

      When he connected with the symbols written on the parchment, Bartholomew was astounded. The energy was so familiar.
      There was a book coming from his mother. She had inherited it from her aunt, Guiny… She probably got it herself from her mother Margaret, or perhaps her step-mother BeckyBart wasn’t too sure…

      Finally, he found it. Inside the cover, there was a dedication. To you, dear Becky, happy birthday! With love, Kathy (2017).
      Kathy, Kathy… A flash of a rainbow-coloured anaconda into Bart’s mind… Must have been one of Dory’s friends.

      “There was once a god who was not a god — who was not a god, for you are dealing with legends,” he said, nearly whispering. “There was a god in ancient Egypt, and his name was Seth, and he was disreputable. And he threw aside establishments, whenever other gods rose up and said, “We are the truth, we are pure and we are holy,” this disreputable god stood up, and with a voice like thunder, said: “You are nincompoops!”

      “And the other gods did not like him,” Seth continued in his story-telling whisper, “and whenever they set up their altars, he came like thunder, but playfully, and tossed the altars asunder, and he said “Storms are natural, and good, and a part of the earth, even as placid skies are. Winds are good. Questions are good. Males and females are good. Even gods and demons are good, if you must believe in demons. But, structures are limited!”.

      “And so this god, who was not a god, called Seth, went about kicking apart the structures, and he gathered about him others who kicked apart the structures. And they were themselves, whether they were male or female. Whether they thought of themselves as good or bad, or summer or winter, or as old or as young, they were creators. They were questioners.

      “And whenever another personality set itself up and said, “I am the god before you, and my word is law,” then Seth went about saying, “You are a nincompoop,” and began to kick apart the structures. And so you are yourselves, in your way, all Seths, for you kick apart the structures, and you are the black sheep of the religions, and the black sheep of the scientists, and the black sheep of the physicians, and the black sheep of the your mothers and your fathers, and your sisters and your brothers.

      “And yet, the mothers and the fathers and the sisters and the brothers listen,” Seth went on in that quiet voice in that quiet room. “for they do not have the courage to be the black sheep…”

      Conversations With Seth, Volume 1, Chapter 9, by Susan Watkins

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #562

      Now who the bloody hell is Alfina Al was finding Becky’s obliviousness dangerously contagious…
      Of course, Alfina… He had seen her in his dreams at times, in the form of a splendid she-wolf named Iona.

      She’s also Aina in Yurick’s timeline… his future focus Janice whispered to Al, and smiled as she was seeing other probabilities forming in other dimensions in which Iona played an interesting role…

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #600

      A feeling of disappointment.
      A feeling of hatred… Sam didn’t really know where it was coming from, but he was feeling it. It was a pooling of energies, not necessarily linked to anyone in particular. Like holding to old habits and old clothes though they needed to be changed.

      Sam decided to create something he hadn’t for quite some time. Some fever and reconfiguration of his digestive process.

      For him, it was a way of expression through his body. It was not a dysfunction as it was expressing freely the energy. Nothing was to be feared or opposed.
      He focused deeply on himself and began to feel this low vibrating sound in his belly. And his body began its shifting.

      :fleuron:

      Lucio was swimming with ease in the marble pool of the villa. His brother was speaking with the trees again and he had no interest in that himself. The water upon his body was offering enough interactions at that moment. In order to swim swiftly this morning he had reshaped his body to a slender and tall body. His short hair was moss green today and quite fitting in the sky blue water. A lemur was swimming alongside with him like it was challenging him in some way.
      He felt his brother’s energy field expand and ripple through the water. A big watery splash was the indication he had joined Lucio in this aquatic amusement.

      Though they were identical twins, they also had the ability to alter their physical shape slightly. Mostly their hair and size, and also their faces. Today they were identical again, except for their size as Lucio had increased it, and their hair. Adrian was bald today, his perfectly round skull was appearing almost shiny in the afternoon sun. He winked at his brother with a big grin and dived under the wavy surface.

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #622

      Somewhere during the 23 rd century

      “aaa AAAA AAAAA Tcheeeew !”

      “Hiiiiii?! Oh Fracking NOOOoooo!”

      The shriek had been heard in the whole facility.

      Phefia Beryl was the first on the spot where Vinya Grey had been playing so exuberantly with her vocal chords.

      — Vinnie? Are you alright?… What just happened?
      — Oh, Pheffy… I think I made an awful blunder…
      — What do you mean?
      — You know, my last experiment?
      — The g…
      — Yes!
      — What?!
      — They poofed away…
      — Away?… You mean, all of them? Oh bugger…

      :fleuron:

      A few minutes later, Vinya and Phefia were around a white table sucking on straws picked into white and red polystyrenoid balls.

      — Vinnie, you look terrible… That last geomagnetic storm had not done very good on your DNA I’m afraid.
      — And the worse is that each time I sneeze, I blow up wormholes… I thought it would go better very quickly, but last one was big and lasted long enough to let the whole experimental herd wander off in another time/space and/or dimension…
      — Yeah, that’s pretty bad… But wherever they went, they probably will die very soon… Imagine… With their stiff legs anytime they see something frightening, I guess a mere mapgie could easily have them for dinner…
      — Such a pity… I was close to doing something great with them… When we discovered these fossilized blue spiders, I knew it was the first step.
      — Bwah, this rehydrated frogrog is the grossest thing I’ve ever drunk… But yeah you’re right, the first results were very promising. The spiders venom could provoke very random and deep mutations.
      — And all we needed was a little more control on the direction of the mutations.
      — Anyway they’re just goats… You possibly can’t have breached a cosmic law with a handful of GOATS
      — Hope so Pheffy, hope so…

      :fleuron2:

      San Demangelo, 1848

      Elroy was laughing… Hey Joe, Twi! he shouted A letter from Uncle Ernie!

      — Uncle Ernie? How’s the old bat doin’? asked Twilight
      — He’s sending his greetings for the new year, and babbling about last dead people in the neighborhood. But there’s something funny. He’s saying that he’d just acquired some funny goats. Like popped in, out of nowhere. At first he’d thought of a joke, but apparently no one’s been claiming them. He’d thought them dead, they were a dozen laying stiff on the ground, but when they started to wake up, they went down again like broken dolls. Apparently the magpies on top of the tree had been scaring them. Ahaha… Where does he get such strange stories…
      — Well, magpies are scarey, Twilight said meaningfully, with a side glance at Joe
      — Whatever… At least he’d been giving us a good laugh. He’s saying he’s gonna breed the horny beasts, and start a Fainting Goat Fair (or FGF) in Marshall County. Perhaps we could get there next Thanksgiving…
      — Depends when the Freak Show’s coming to town, mused Twilight, I hope to see them soon…

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #703

      So you have requested audience… a deep voice, hoarse as a water’s torrent running and jumping on a river bed smothered with pebbles, asked from the darkness.

      Midora was not afraid of the darkness. As best as she could explain it, it was the void of creation, where everything came from, and where all was stripped of intrinsic meaning. It was from this place that she could reach for the answers.

      She knew this place, she felt memories swirling around, as uncatchable as a swarm of short-lived sparkles born from the reddish embers of a dying fire.
      In this lifetime, she was only a eleven year old girl, but she was as old as this voice within her. There was a time where she was playing with that voice, a time where her being was not yet, and yet a time which was in her future.
      She was pure consciousness in that dream time space, and yet, she was feeling more comfortable with physical symbols around herself. So she focused on one of the symbols that she knew would help her stabilize her vibration, and in doing so, all the small particles of golden light around her started to swirl and coalesced into a dream body.

      She was in front of a cave, in a mountainous area. This body provided her a slowing down of the stream of information that came to her, and she could manipulate more efficiently the interaction with that huge presence she felt. The precipitous rocky environment was a symbol of that steadiness and slowing down and also, for her benefit of her beliefs in that acquiring such information might be a difficult task.
      Now she had identified it, she could more easily dispel the obstacles on the path to the cave. The cave of course, was her symbol for reaching into her deep inner nature. And the darkness was only a fitting blank canvas for herself to project and translate the energy interactions.
      All of that she knew, as it was knowledge embedded into herself that she could more easily access into this trance-like state, in her room in that location in space and time of 2112 in New Venice. And she knew that also for she was taught by her parents, Bart and Oscar, on how to access it.

      The voice was inside the cave. And no sooner had she thought of it that she was finding the whole place morphing into a vast room built into the rock, in the middle of which a majestic golden dragon was slowly breathing.
      She had translated the vast energy as that of a dragon, but she knew when she felt into it that it had possible variations, one of which being that of a she-phoenix, of various sizes, where sizes where symbolic of its age and wisdom.

      You may call me Naasir the dragon grinned at Midora. You are right, in a sense, you can consider yourself being born from me, though in your true form, you are equally august and splendid as I am. You will, in time, have access to that form, again. But for now, I can provide some answers to your questions. The only thing is… Are your questions up to the challenge? he added with the most benevolent smirk his wide toothed grin could convey.

      Midora pondered for a moment, beholding the perfection of her translation of the energy. Each scale on the body of the dragon was a work of art. His half-closed eyes, with an amber shiny center, and teal border were equally mesmerizing.

      :fleuron:

      — What is the significance of these books I have inherited from my parents?

      As you know, this place is the place were significance fades away, or radiates, depending on the direction in which you look, only to be replaced by fulfillment. Your… books hence, have no significance, I would say, for me at least. What do you want to know about them?

      — They were passed from people to people, and as far as I understood, they started to be imprinted with these people’s stories, starting from my grand-parents Indy and Cuthbert. But there are still blank pages inside them, and no seeming order from one page to the other. I think that’s why my grand-parents grew tired of it.

      Continue…

      — What I mean is… I feel attracted to them, and yet I don’t understand how they work…

      These… are not mere books as your ancestors understood them. In fact, they were crafted by a distant civilization, not denizens from this dimension in which you are presently focused, but travelers, with whom you can still interact by means of this device. When the “books” traveled into this dimension, they retained their initial properties and functioning, but their initial shapes were translated into something as close as you could understand so that you would allow them to appear into your reality. This knowing might help you unravel their true nature.

      Another thing. Books are energy deposits, in your reality. There was a misunderstanding in that they were thought to be able to liber or to free your memory by imprinting it into the pages, but memories are alive and not separate from you. They live as you live and change them. So, the books are still being written, and that which you can read is the part of the book which is the most probable story in which you choose to insert yourself, so as to explore it. You can alter these probabilities, even if you might doubt it, but as you chose them, they are much a part of your design of your reality, that which you chose to explore. In short, a complete book means the end of your exploration, and prompts for a disengagement for you to continue other explorations, and on the contrary, a blank books means a boundless realm of probable explorations.

      — Can you tell me why there are two of them?

      They are more than a couple. These ones are the only known ones that your ancestors happen to have found. Most of them have been destroyed over time in this dimension, as their possibilities were heavily cloaked. They are all linked together, as you will find out. You may gather some answers in finding Badul

      And with that, Midora was once again floating in an intermediate state hung between space and time, longing for her physical body. She woke up strangely energized…

      in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #767
      ÉricÉric
      Keymaster

        State of Marshall VS Vinya Grey
        extracts of procedure 5057TP on case of unsolved time-blink that may have interfered with the timeline – Aug. 5th, 2237

        — As you are certainly most aware, Ms Grey, local authorities of the T FGF P (Timespace and Further Geodimensional Flux Police) has recently uncovered a case of unexplainable appearance of a new species within the past.
        The genetic makeup of this species bears some rather crude indication of human interference, though no official authorization has been recorded on its behalf. Our investigations have led us to believe you may have more than a little to do with this incident, which is, as you are once again quite aware, within the boundaries of decree 5533 on allowed and banned interferences and seeding into the timeline.

        — Objection, Judge! Prosecutor Arkandiusz is trying to intimidate my client. No proof has been yet produced that may confirm or infirm these allegations.

        — Mmmm… Objection rejected. Please continue Mr. Arkandiusz.

        — Shall I remind Ms Grey that the voluntary or involuntary seeding of new species within other areas has most of the time been disastrous, which is the reason of the decree aforementioned. Precedents were numerous even when our ancestors were not even aware of the possibility of time interference. Rabbits in Australia, does it ring any bell?

        — Objection, Judge! We are not talking about deadly pests here, we are talking about severely handicapped goats! Jeeze, come on…

        — … Do you mean, the Fainting Goats of our annual Fair, Mr Frey?

        — Yes, Judge Cornwick.

        — Oh, that is most interesting… Well, perhaps after this long introduction you may want to introduce your first witness Mr Arkandiusz, Ms… Beryl is that?

        in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #810

        Quite frankly, Midora didn’t know how and where to look for Badul. She had spent lots of time delving into the labyrinth of chapters that composed the book, at first to no avail.
        Only after some familiarization with the narrative had she come to roughly understand that the two books where rewriting the pages —or even, rewiring them— so that each time she started over, it was like a similar yet different story. Most of the alternate versions did occur within the same kind of environment, or the same dimensions as the previous ones, but there were always all kinds of small hints that made her get a small hunch that it was not quite the same story she had read before that was taking place now.
        She had even become quite good at tracking down these flimsy moments where she found herself wondering what felt “different”, at odds, or simply not quite at the same place. Like in her dreams, these were precious cues telling her to pay attention. More than simple cues, of course some of them where howling at her face that something required her attention. The additions made by her distant relative Dory, or later on by her step-daughter Becky were compelling cases of such occurrences. Asynchronous apparitions of mummies sometimes reminded her of stories told by one of her father and where more generally speaking of symbolic death and regeneration, but when all of these cues where as many portals the details of which she could lose herself in…

        Naasir had told her to find Badul. She knew Badul… Like Midora herself, Badul was a facet of the dreaming dragon who was exploring the many facets of itself in an intricate play, and it felt to her that Badul was stuck somewhere in the process and required some attention. In fact, she remembered that in all the versions of the stories that she had read about, Badul’s history was never ended. Each time, he was on his way to explore the new land he had discovered, and somehow, he just never get there.
        When she was trying to get to the rest of the story, as much as she would search for it, there were only blank pages.
        Perhaps it was for her to write them, like Indy did after she encountered that mummy decades ago, not necessarily to exorcise the experience, but rather to learn more about her connections.

        What were her own connections? She wondered.
        What did happen to Badul on his way to the clandestine traveling portal of Gralm Tur? And why did it matter? Did he found something about the network, and some link to the skulls which have been an obsession for quite some time for some of the major and most intriguing characters of this inter-dimensional sopoohpera?

        Truth was, Badul felt a bit like an oddball to her. She didn’t know how to get close to him. Apparently, when she had read the early articles from her great-uncle Cuthbert, she had found out that he had connected quite well to the daunting character. As a matter of fact, most of his comments had helped flesh out the character, while most of the other participants in the books had been only remotely observing his deeds. However priceless these clues were, Midora knew by now that they were not absolute, and would rewrite differently if the story was asking for it. And in fact, perhaps her own addition would change whatever his fate would have been.

        :fleuron2:

        Midora could feel Badul differently now… a young boy, whom she is babysitting, in another life.
        Bastian is baby Badul’s name and he’s a toddler, a toddler exploring an unknown world made of colourful toys.
        Midora (her name’s Ada in that focus) likes to work for little Bastian’s family. The woman, his mother, looks a bit odd like Morticia Addams, or like a Cher just out of her bed, but Ada likes her. She’s busy traveling alot, and doesn’t have much time to care for the baby.

        Midora thinks she has read about his woman somewhere in the books…
        Could it be that? Yes,… there is little doubt about it.
        It seems like she’s just run into young Carla

        in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #824

        Midora was perplexed. These books were like an open-ended uncharted territory. That territory was so vast and fractal-like in nature that each attempt at following a single thread seemed daunting. There were always details growing like a reckless plant from the entry points where she started her investigations. Badul seemed lost in this jungled maze.
        Last time she’d tried to connect, she ended up with another focus of his, a child, vaguely related to the crystal skulls hunt.

        All it requires is a proper compass to navigate the thought suddenly appeared in her mind as clear as daylight, carrying with it a trail of concepts and clusters of associated ideas.
        One in particular…
        She’d had that book of designs she’d always loved to read when she was a child. It was full of colorful symbols which were called by the authors “tiles”. The authors associated some properties to them, and she remembered one which was about a compass…
        So she had found a compass… Now, she would have to learn how to use it. The introduction of the book said:

        The tiles presented in this book all have different functions; they can be primarily understood as focal points which enhance specific uses of energy. […] As far as we know, they can be discovered in many situations, either objective events (e.g. something that catches your gaze in the street) or in the subjective (dreams, visions, inspirations etc.). In both cases, the recognition is instantaneous, as each tile carries a distinctive energetic signature which is the essence of its “function”, so to speak.
        As such, it can be used theoretically in both situations (subjective and objective), though, as far as we have explored, subjective interaction with them seem to be the easiest and most quickly rewarding way of accessing them.

        Subjective interaction, yes that was child’s play, she would have said, though she could vaguely understand why people before the Shift completed had more trouble accessing it. Objective wasn’t so difficult, once you get to the idea that it’s all one, and you can easily switch from each of the attentions used to focus on them.

        The only thing that doesn’t seem to change, she thought, is the numbering. Even when the events shuffle through the pages and reorder themselves, or even when the very energy of the event subtly changes, their numbers were the same. She could start with that.

        She cleared her mind, envisioning the compass, then took a deep breath and asked herself a question, Where do I find Badul?
        Slowly, the compass started to shift and turn, while numbers started to roll in front of her mind’s eye, and like a lottery, at each draw a number appeared, slowly revealing a number: 1-2-3-8

        She eagerly leafed through the books to find the reference. Well… that was more perplexing than ever, that seemed like a totally unrelated story.
        But now, she was not so sure about that, as she read the entry and wondered about the fact that it seemed once again different from the first time she’d read it.

        And now, she marveled as a new entry started to write itself under that one. It was the first time she actually saw an entry write itself. Those she had spotted that were not here before, she just assumed they had appeared instantaneously. But not this one… and it started to link Franiel’s and Badul’s explorations…

        in Reply To: Circle of Eights, Stories #882
        ÉricÉric
        Keymaster

          Ms Beryl?
          — Yes.
          — Tell me more about this whole sneezing… You can’t be serious about that deposition. You have sworn on the Book of Flove, and perjury is a grave offense.
          — I know that, Sir.
          — Perfect. And notwithstanding, you maintain your deposition.
          — Notwithstandingly, I do Sir.
          — That will be all.

          :fleuron2:

          A few days later, the case on what happened of the time-travelling goats was close owing to blatant lack of evidence.
          Some later said that the judge fondness for the annual Fainting Goat Fair won his leniency, but that would be another story…

          in Reply To: Strings of Nines #2640

          New Venice, October 2117

          Now, where were we? Midora suddenly felt that the need for an agenda was called for. Spread out in front of her were a few collages and some balls of energy from all the links and connections she had found in the stories of her ancestors and gathered so far.

          Since her fathers Oscar and Bart had adopted the twins Hari and Jacq, her usually tidy room had been a mess. Fortunately, the adoption was almost complete, and in a mere week, the twins would then be able to choose another family, which they made clear they intended to do. She felt so appreciative that adoption was no longer bound by traditional laws of responsibility of the parents and ridden by culpability; instead, it was a healthier cooperation between the parents and children, and children were free to go with other families if they felt the desire for a different experience.
          When they’d adopted Hari and Jacq, Bart and Oscar had wanted for a continuation of the experience of bringing up children, which they did not have for a long time with Midora, as she was quite independent from an early age. And in truth, Jacq and Hari were very interactive and playful, and to be perfectly honest, quite a handful; in a few weeks, the apartment would surely seem deserted and empty.

          So, during that time, Midora’s researches on the stories had been put to a halt, and a lots of her energy balls which were usually neatly ordered on her lightboard were now merged for some, changed of forms for others… all thanks to her half-bros. She barely knew were to start to get a better view of it now.

          Let me see… there were a few threads going on there, and all we need is untangle some of them…

          She’d had fun reconnecting with the “Island of Dr Transvestite” theme, but now she found out, her favorite characters Shar and Glor, were now disembodied, stranded in transition, and perhaps waiting to be reborn to a nine-titted alien in the Worseversity after failed attempts of channeling. So far, no signs of developments for them though.

          As far as the Ooh-dimension was concerned, the shift of Vowellness was probably complete, and she couldn’t find anything new being published by Ms Tattler in all now probable directions she was looking into. She was of course ignoring the disrupted echoes from the Jumbled Eights thread, which were probably the brainstorming board of ideas of the writer, which she had the greatest difficulty to follow (she wondered if even the writer could).

          Her own thread and the details of the history of the Wrick family was always sketchy and full of holes; she’d attempted at learning more about the elusive Becky , but she kept blinking in and out of continuity, too quickly for her to follow her anywhere in her explorations.

          Oh, and the Alienor dimension was still going on, though most of its development wasn’t yet showing up. What had happened of Arona, Franiel, Irtak’s father, the gripshawk? And now that Malvina was gone too… She’d found Mrs Chesterhope after her strange amnesiac shapeshifting accident however; and that was encouraging.

          So strange, all of these characters are so alive, she thought fondly, and yet none of them seem motivated enough to project themselves out with force and steadiness into her energy balls which still had a sort of blurriness and haphazardness to them.

          She made the intent to project more energy in the direction of stabilizing the currents of the strands of stories, and the energy balls’ colors started to shimmer lightly. That was certainly the way to go. Which one would be the most alluring to explore and follow?

          Pseu was pleased to be able to report back to Benedict at base camp in Holland that her disguise was working well. Nobody had questioned her alias, her codes remained uncracked. Communications between them had been scrambled skillfully, no data had been poached, and to date nobody had ovadosed.

          Sadie! psst!” Pseu whispered. “Come with me while they’re getting prepared, they’ll be ages sorting those hoops and bums out.”
          “Where are we going?”
          “To the Estate, I want to show you the new KILT tiles and the links to the thread in 2014.”
          “But I’m having enough difficulty keeping the threads of this thread in order, Pseu, really!”
          “They’re connected, it will all start to make sense, trust me!” Pseu replied. “Finn the whale has just made an appearance: in the Gibraltar waters.”
          “How can that possibly be connected to Versailles?” Sadie looked unconvinced.
          “Trust me” repeated Pseu. “It will become clear when you’ve seen the new tiles.”

          Maria del Mar first met Pseu at the Estate in the City. Maria del Mar had been projecting to the City regularly during her sleep states (the kind of sleep that land based humans would consider to be a hypnogogic state, which was the natural sleep state for whales). Pseu had been showing Maria del Mar the tile collection for the Folly and explaining about KILTs (Key Incident Link Tiles), and her friend Janice had been sharing her collection of Story World tiles. Maria del Mar described to them a similar system in her undersea world, whereby whales (and indeed other cetaceans) used energy imprinted markers for various purposes, such as teleport and time travel portal markers, and more importantly, for tracking the crystal’s time-shifting location (time shifting the location of the crystal was a necessary safety feature during the uncertain times preceding the end of the 21st century). Some of the markers were large (relatively speaking, not so very large for a whale) such as the ghost galleon the Santa Rosa, and some were small and inconspicuous, resting on the sea bed, but easily detected by connecting to the energy contained within them.
          One such marker, a tile shaped piece of ancient coral that was designated to mark a particular portal to Atlantis, had been reported missing. A small earthquake off the coast of southern Spain had dislodged the coral marker tile from it’s location in the Alboran Sea in the western Mediterranean, and it had washed up on the beach. It was unusual for a marker tile to dislodge, but a particularly strong pooling of energy had been a factor, drawing the coral tile magnetically to a beach not far from the land based timebridgers portal in a beach bar further up the coast.
          Someone walking along the beach one summer morning (coincidentally the same person who had designated the beach bar as a Timebridgers portal just a few kilometers away) had found the tile and taken it home with her, entranced with the unusual appearance of it. The morning beach walker had felt the pull of something that she couldn’t quite explain, and despite the weight of the strange object, she felt compelled to carry it home with her, and display it on her patio.
          Maria del Mar, Janice and Pseu discussed various other ongoing adventures and projects, agreed to assist each others explorations, and established a network of energetic links for ease of communication.

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