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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

The Hell and Back Archives
Tonight All Is Silence In The World, Part IV

Character(s): Khyrisse, Vas, Jack, Ebreth, Skitch, Kit, Marty
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen (Jack dialogue by Doug, Vas dialogue by Evan)
Storyline: Jungleland
Title of Post: Reading Between the Lines (aka How Khyrisse Spends Her Evening)
Khyrisse wandered into the living room of the Mansion, where Vas was fletching some of his arrows, and sat down nearby. Most of the others were busy cleaning up for dinner; she'd never have a better opportunity. She hesitated for a moment, trying to think of the best way to attack the subject. Vas raised an eyebrow at her. Yes, Milady?
Vas, would you please tell me whats wrong with Valende? Khyrisse said, trying to strike a balance between gentleness and firmness. Shes acting like... She searched for a descriptive that wasnt insulting.
Like the mother of a very disobedient boy, Vas finished for her with a sigh. Yes, I know.
Is there a reason for it, or should I be worried? she sighed back, and ran a hand through her hair. Or both?
Vas hesitated for a long moment, and finally said, Valende and I made... some promises to each other, not so long ago, having to do with new relationships. In my opinion, neither of us has been angelic about keeping them, but she apparently doesnt see it that way.
Well, you see, she hasnt talked to me about it. She doesnt bother to ask me if I mean anything by my flirtation with Ember, she just tears a strip out of my hide, he said, with a deceptively calm little smile.
Ouch, Khyrisse sympathized. Grendel, do I know how that is...
Vas stared at her for a moment, then grinned. Milady, despite your youth, it has surely been a long time indeed since anyone has dared to scold you for anything.
Khyrisse gave him a crooked little grin in reply. Oddly enough, it was over an illusionist, too... She shook her head. So are you serious? she asked, impudently.
Vas put a hand to his chest in amazement. Moi? When have I ever been serious about anything?
Khyrisse rolled her eyes. So youre just going to keep tweaking Valendes nose.
My esteemed sister is in the wrong, for once, Vas said, quietly, but firmly. His mouth quirked a it, and he added, Ember doesnt have many days left. Why not make them pleasant ones?
Thats... a very good point. Khyrisse blinked a bit. Well I dont have any problem with her anymore, gods know-- but Val isnt going to be happy. She patted her bodyguards arm, and grinned conspiratorily. Ill see what I can do to keep her out of your hair. She needs some time off anyway.


Jack? Khyrisse said, poking her head into Ebreths room.
Hmm? Jack looked up from rummaging around in his bag.
Valende says the glue is finally starting to get unsticky. Shes practically pulling her skin off to do it, but she said to tell you that shell be unstuck from Kerouac within half an hour--- or shes going to gnaw her arm off like an animal in a trap.
Jack winced a bit. Oh. What did Kerouac say?
Kerouac has never seen that done before. Gnawed off by Kerouac, yes; but not gnawed off by the animal. Khyrisse replied, chuckling a bit.
I still dont know why shes trusting this person, but now is probably not the time to bring it up. Um, okay. Ill come talk to her in a second...
Actually, I had an idea. I can take over reading to Ebreth for tonight, and you could spend some time helping Val relax. Shes been acting a bit stressed.
Sure, Jack said, reaching into his satchel. Here, this is the book were reading right now...
Khyrisse turned it over in her hands. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd... Ive never heard of it. Is it good?
Jack looked at Khyrisse in astonishment. It's the best of the Agatha Christie mysteries! It's a classic!
Oh! I never read many murder mysteries... Khyrisse looked a bit sheepish. Once I grew up, actually, I didn't have much time for reading fiction; that's probably why all my favorites are children's stories.
They're great mental exercises. I thought maybe if I didn't finish it, Ebreth would be curious enough to ask how it ended.
Khyrisse blinked at Jack, wide-eyed with surprise. Thats... thats a good idea. I never thought of that!
Well, I'm not very good at psychology or anything, but I know that it bugs the heck out of me not to know the solution to something. If I can't figure it out, I do whatever I need to to get the answer. Uh, just seemed like a possibility, you know?
I know, Im exactly the same way. No, that's a really great idea! ...I think I can speedread up to where you are quickly enough, she said, paging through the book.
It's the last person you'd expect, Jack said, smiling.
Im not looking, Khyrisse protested, smiling back. That would be cheating. I read enough to know that much.


Once the kids were safely put to bed, and Marty was asleep, Khyrisse got out Jacks murder mystery and set it on the bedside table. Sitting in the chair next to the bed, she pulled her tunic off carefully, wincing. She felt carefully at her side through the dark rose colored silk of her chemise. Ow. Yep, thats bruising, Khyrisse sighed. She picked up the ice pack Sennett had brought her and tucked it between her side and the arm of the chair. Smiling at Ebreth with an expression that mixed mischievousness with a faint sadness, she picked up The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and turned to the proper page. I hope you dont mind my state of deshabille, Ebreth, she said quietly, not wanting Marty to wake up, but you didnt seem to mind it much the last time I was running around in a chemise and breeches. Mabye itll give you a little bit of motivation, too. Khyrisse winked at him, and propped her feet on the bedframe as she found her place in the book, legs bent at a flattering angle. ...I can only hope.

Character(s): Flicker
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Skeins of Fate: Lost at sea
Title of Post: A Really Bad Feeling About This
"See?" whispered Ralchar, jauntily. "That was easy. We're asea. Now all we have to do is kill the evil Luthien, and ours has command of the ship!"
"Shut Pollyanna up before I shut him up," growled Norna. "And get these chains off me."
"I kind of like them," said Luthien, with a straight face.
Norna's oath prevented her from hitting him, so she hit Messala.


"Let me handle this," said Norna, low, bringing her Valkyrian blade back behind her head. An especially creepy Luthien rounded the corner with Palmer Khan. He was less skinny than the Luthien Flicker knew, and a lot less restrained-looking. Flicker briefly considered his loose pirate's garb being responsible for that impression, or the bullwhip coiled at his side, or even the cold and imperious expression on his face, but then he realized that it was the absence of any glove over the necromantic sigil on his hand. The insignia of the Slavers' Guild winked from his middle finger. As he turned the corner Norna whipped her sword around at him with force that might have beheaded a jotun. The master slaver, however, managed to twist out of the way and catch the blow on his shoulder, barking out a command and whipping out his trident. He looked more angry than concerned. Palmer rushed the Valkyrie; "Distract him," yelled Norna, contemptuously, and Hronmir put out his great arm and knocked him back onto his ass. "I serve," said the Aesir, in his hollow whisper.
Luthien got his breath and finger of deathed her. Norna laughed. "Too bad I'm immune to death magic," she hissed at him, and knocked him back five feet into the cabin wall with her greatsword. The slave lord spat blood. He pulled up his trident for a desperate check as the Valkyrie came at him, but she never got there. Three inches of black steel erupted from her right eye. For a dizzy second she just stood there, the blade jutting out of her eye like a horn. "Nidhoggr," her lips moved, and then she slumped to the deck. Ebreth Tor put his boot on her head and pulled his sword out of the back of her skull, effortlessly. "You owe me one, kid," he told Luthien.
Flicker brought the Kjallensword around slowly. "Luthien!" he shouted at his own necromancer, swinging at Tor and dropping back. The pirate followed him, dangerous steel in his blue eyes; Luthien the master slaver was already casting a spell. "Get Norna up, she's our only hope!"
"You're not going to appreciate this, are you," muttered Luthien, dropping to his knees beside the dying Valkyrie as Hronmir covered him.


Flicker was, he was realizing, in really deep shit.
He escaped decapitation by an instinctive duck, continuing to back up. At least he was drawing the man away from the others. Flicker blocked a deceptively fast slash up with an arc of his longsword, and went staggering back into the rail as Tor roundhoused him in the head with his foot. Flicker tasted blood. The pirate advanced on him like a cat stalking a mouse. Flicker dropped as Tor's sword came down, and it clanged against the rail where his head had been. It was four lifetimes of swordsmanship that guided his blade into the back of the larger man's knees as he rolled; Tor staggered but did not fall and backhanded his sword into Flicker's upper arm. It wasn't severed but it did crack, audibly. Flicker swung out left-handed, without an instant's hesitation. The two blades met and then Ebreth Tor struck him in the hand and the Kjallensword went flying from his bloody fingers and overboard into the sea. Flicker twisted his head quickly, blood and the sea roaring in his ears. He was out of room to maneuver. He was on his back on the deck against the rail, and he was unarmed. Flicker slid his bleeding hand around the stanchion, intending to throw himself overboard, but Tor stepped on his throat, hard. Flicker wheezed. The pirate looked down at him for a moment, and then he smiled, a long, somehow impenetrable smile. And then his sword whipped down at the elf's head, but it clanged against Norna's greatsword first. "Why don't you pick on someone your own size," she said, blood spread like a spiderweb across her right cheek from her destroyed eye.
Flicker scuttled away from them, coughing, and pulled free his bow. Silent-Voice was battling the stone golem; Noyarc was fighting with Palmer. He didn't see Berryn or Ralchar or Shilree, but the two Luthiens were toe to toe on the deck. The good one seemed to be getting the worse of it. Flicker caught his breath as best he could and put an arrow into Pirate Luthiens back as he pulled his trident back for a thrust. The timbre of his scream was unsettlingly the same. So was the look in his eye, though Flicker had never seen it turned on him before. I'm just getting myself into more and more trouble, aren't I, he thought, as the evil necromancer hissed the syllables to a spell.

Character(s): Marty, Ebreth
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Bungle in the Jungle
Title of Post: The Satori Tour 813
Marty was having a really hard time.
He knew the sorceress hated him, but until now, he hadn't known quite how much. She had spent much of last night relating a dramatic tale of murder and suspicion that had been hard to resist, and then she had refused to finish it! Still, Marty decided that her constant attacks were yet another test, so he and Master Ebreth were spending the morning on their "Satori Tour", where they were going room to room, trying to find the perfect feng shui for meditation.
Unfortunately, they found it in Skitch's room.
"Hey, you guys want to play cards?" Skitch asked.
"No, we're, like, meditating, little dude."
"Come on, it's fun! And Kit is off sneaking somewhere."
Ebreth sat on the floor across from Skitch.
"See? Ebreth wants to!"
"Master Ebreth is so at peace, he can do that, kid. I'm still learning the art of satori... playing cards might be a bit much."
"You're really weird," Skitch said, frowning at Marty. Marty remembered that the kid was the apprentice of the nasty sorceress. Had she sent him here to destroy his hopes of satori? Why did Master Ebreth live in such a dangerous place?
Skitch had placed the deck between himself and Ebreth and commenced pulling cards off the top of it. Marty settled into a lotus position and started subvocalizing his mantra, "hellllllllllllp... hellllllllllllllp..."
Then the voice began.
"Ebreth Tor," it said, a sneer apparent in the tone, for Marty couldn't see its source. "Come to steal away some more kids for your magic boat ride?"
Marty looked at Master Ebreth. He was still, the card in his hand frozen.
"Leave this room now, Tor, and leave the kids alone. If I hear that you ever come near them again, you'll be staring pointlessly out of a new set of eyes."
Marty didn't even know what that meant.
"Scum like you, Tor, shouldn't be allowed out of your cage, but since you are, the least you can do is leave the children alone!"
Then, to Marty's shock and amazement, Master Ebreth did something.

Character(s): Skitch, Ebreth Tor, Marty
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Jungleland
Title of Post: Judgment Day
"That wasn't very nice," said Skitch, surprised.
Ebreth Tor stared weakly at the disembodied jaw of the Angel of Death. The room was dim. The still air roared in his ears. I'm insane. I am totally fucking insane. His hand fumbled across the nightstand to Kit's dagger, shaking. I've got to get out of here before I hurt someone.
"Master Ebreth!" Marty's eyes went wide and he seized the guru's wrist in both of his hands, wrenching his arm back as he tried to slit his own throat. The blade skimmed across his cheek instead, a shallow diagonal tear. The Master did not cry out. "Oh, man, I'm sorry I like let that guy disturb your meditation. Please don't go to Nirvana yet! I still have too much to learn!"
"Mom!" yelled Skitch, bolting from the room. "Jack! Ebreth's killing himself!"

Character(s): Marty Hu, Jack Paris
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Bungle in the Jungle
Title of Post: Marty in Action
While Marty was not possessed of a high caliber of intellect, he was, in fact, uncommonly strong, and well versed in the fighting arts. Thus, while his heart broke doing it, he was able to wrestle the knife out of Ebreth's hands and toss it across the room, where it embedded itself between the magical lips.
"Ah! haht huht!" the mouth cried.
"Shut your karma, weird disembodied mouth dude," Marty yelled, losing his satori. "You've already done enough."
Skitch had already ran into the other room, and moments later, Marty heard footsteps running this way.
The math nerd, the mean sorceress, and other members of the Rat Pack raced into the room. Marty had Ebreth pinned to the floor to keep him from continuing to try harming himself. Not that Ebreth was moving in the slightest, but he didn't want a repeat of that bad scene. "Uh, this isn't what it looks like," Marty said, watching the mean sorceress clench her fists.
"Hyeah hyeah," the mouth said. "Serrs hyu hight."

Character(s): Khyrisse
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Jungleland
Title of Post: Doing What We Must
Sennett appeared in the middle of the bathing room, scaring Khyrisse out of a decade of life. "Sennett, wha--"
"Milady, the jester's spell has activated, in the children's room," he said urgently. "Lord Tor is in there."
Khyrisse nearly broke her neck getting out of the tub.


"Mom!" yelled Skitch, bolting from his room. "Jack! Ebreth's killing himself!"
Khyrisse skidded past him into the room, her robe plastered to her over soapsuds, grabbing briefly onto the doorframe to keep herself from falling.
Marty had Ebreth pinned to the floor-- although Khyrisse couldn't see why for a moment, since Ebreth wasn't moving at all. Kit's bloodied dagger was embedded in Schneider's magic mouth. A slash across Ebreth's cheek was dripping blood, down his face and onto the floor.
"Uh, this isn't what it looks like," Marty said.
"Hyeah hyeah," the mouth said. "Serrs hyu hight."
Khyrisse's face turned a sickly white, and she made an abrupt motion with her hands, as if she were rending an invisible cloth. There was a sizzling noise, and the mouth disappeared from the wall in a flash of light. Every trace of Schneider's magic, everywhere in her home, was dispelled along with it. "What happened?" Khyrisse murmured to Skitch, still staring at the empty wall, as if she were in shock.
"Um, well, he came in with Marty, and he was going to play cards with me, and then the mouth started saying all kinds of really mean things about him and told him never to come in here again," Skitch blurted out in a rush, twisting his hands together. Khyrisse winced, closing her eyes briefly, and swayed as if she were suddenly losing her balance. Marty had pulled Ebreth to a sitting position, and the former pirate had curled up into a ball again, holding onto his shoulders, face utterly blank. Khyrisse knelt shakily next to him and wrapped her arms around him. "Ebreth, I'm sorry," she whispered hoarsely. "That was a spell cast by Schneider, an old friend of mine... he went insane during the Madness. I thought he was getting better, and he wasn't, and now he's tried to hurt you twice. Please don't believe anything he said to you. Please." She dropped her head wearily on his shoulder, starting to cry in a ragged, broken fashion as the shock wore off. "I'll never let him anywhere near us again. Please."

Character(s): Skitch
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Jungleland
Title of Post: Only A First-Level Doofus
"Don't cry, Khyrisse!" Skitch crawled into her lap, between her and the stricken pirate, and put his arms around her. "See, he's okay! He's not hurt! It's just a little scratch. And Tarrin says it's normal for him to freak out when things remind him of other things, and it means he's getting better. Don't cry, it's going to be okay."
Khyrisse huddled there, her arms around both of them, concentrating on her own breathing.

Character(s): Jack Paris and the Rat Pack
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Bungle in the Jungle
Title of Post: Jack Paris, Leader?
"You should talk to her, Jack," Val said.
"Kerouac agrees," Kerouac agreed.
"Didn't we get the glue off last night?" Jack asked.
"Kerouac liked being glued."
"I swear, I'm going to kill him, Jack, vows or not."
"Um, let's worry about one person at a time here," Jack said. "Can't someone else talk to Khyrisse? I'm a mathematician... I suck at this. Tarrin's the psychiatrist... can't he?"
"Jack, you're the one closest to Ebreth... that's what she needs. Besides, with Khyrisse hiding in her room, you're the senior Rat Pack member... you're in charge."
"Oh, no. No way."
"You're the only one that we'll all listen to."
"I'm a lousy leader! I promise!"
"Kerouac will be leader," Kerouac insisted.
Jack sighed. "I'll talk to Khyrisse. She'll be okay and take things up again. She has to. God, I'm a lousy leader," he muttered, wandering off to the leader's room.


"Khyrisse, can I come in?" Jack asked.
There was no answer.
Jack pushed on the door. It was locked.
Despite his own insecurities, Jack was profoundly more concerned about the sorceress. She had so much tied up in Ebreth, this must have really destroyed her. Jack looked around to see if anyone was looking. No one was. Most everyone was downstairs trying to bolster Ebreth's self-image. Jack hated to do this, but he dropped the body and "went math."
In that form, the matrices that made up the mansion were suddenly clear to him. It was actually a sophisticated spell. Perhaps he had underestimated the sorceress' intellect... he wasn't sure he could have figured all this out.
In that form, he slowly shifted himself along the y-axis until he was in what he assumed was Khyrisse's room.
Normally, Jack would never betray a privacy like this, but the situation seemed particularly volatile.
Focusing, Jack pulled his body back around him.
Khyrisse was lying on the bed, crying.
Jack felt tremendously uncomfortable as he cleared his throat.
Khyrisse didn't respond.
"I, uh, knocked first," Jack said.
No answer but sobbing.
For the first time, Jack saw Khyrisse as a deeply hurt person, someone who had built a wall of strength around a desperate soul. All this, and she's been leading us this whole time? Jack marvelled. Why didn't she let any of us know? "I..." Jack started, intending to let her know how much they needed her. Then he realized that was the last thing she needed right now. She needed them now, instead. "If you want," Jack stammered, "I can sort of take charge of things if you want a break."
Khyrisse looked up for the first time.
"It's not that we don't need you," Jack said, trying to keep her self-esteem together, "but right now, it looks like you need more than we do." He attempted a meek smile.
"I'm sorry, Jack. I shouldn't be--"
"Of course you should," Jack interrupted. "Everyone needs to take care of themselves sometime. I can handle things here. Maybe you should take a vacation."
"A vacation? While the end of the world is happening?"
"You could go to the family estate... it's really peaceful and relaxing, and Caimen and Lora are really wonderful."
"Jack, they're strangers!"
"No, they're Parises. You're my friend, and that's enough."
"I was thinking about going home."
"Do you think you'll be okay there? From what Val's said, that might just open up a lot of old, uh, wounds."
Khyrisse was silent.
"I mean, it's up to you... we could meet you at the estate after all this was said and done. Maybe Ebreth would even be better by then!"
"If he ever gets better," Khyrisse mumbled.
"He will. And so will you. Let me take a little of this load off you, Khyrisse. Take some time for yourself."

Character(s): Alphred
Author: Jeff Hersh
Storyline: Walkabout
Title of Post: Meditations
Alphred sat under a large tree in the mansion's greenhouse. He hoped he was doing the right thing. He felt crippled without his totems. So far, he had tried to exude confidence, but he wasn't sure how successful he was being.
"Help," said a squeaky voice beside the Jungle Lord.
Alphred looked down and saw the rat pawing his leg.
"Help. Trouble."
Alphred picked up the Rat and spoke to him in the rodent's native tongue. The Rat relayed what was going on.
"I understand. This is not good."
Holding the Rat in his hand, Alphred stormed out of the greenhouse. Time for him to put his foot down.

Character(s): "Ember"
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: La Pied En La Bouche
"What's going on?" Ember came into the room, her hair damp.
"Khyrisse is going on a little vacation," said Jack, in leaderly tones. The sorceress was lying on her bed, crying quietly. "She's way overdue on a rest break."
"A vacation?" Ember shook her head. "But I need to defeat the lich lord!"
"You can stay with us," said Jack.
"No, I need to follow her. She's my connection."
"Well, Khyrisse needs a vacation," said Jack, firmly.
"That's--okay. That's okay." Ember's mind raced. "I shouldn't weigh in on these decisions. But I go with her. Where she goes, I go. I need to follow Khyrisse."
"But that's not what Khyrisse needs."
"Trust me, all of you need me to make my rendezvous with the lich lord. I can't miss that just because Khyrisse is having a spaz attack." Ember turned her head quickly at the sobbing sorceress. "Um, no offense."
"Give her a week, Ember."
"I'm sorry. No. I stay with Khyrisse. There's too much riding on this."
Jack looked worried. "Um, what if I said I couldn't let you?"
"I'd say that's up to Khyrisse, wouldn't you?"
"Not any more... I'm leader now, and I say that she gets her privacy." Jack tried to look confident.
"It's up to you whether I follow my mother to save her from being killed by a lich lord?" shouted Ember.
"Yes! She needs to rest, Ember, she's going to have a mental breakdown at this rate!"
Khyrisse stopped crying very abruptly.
"And it's my responsibility to take care of her!"
"Look, Jack, I know you mean well, but--"

Character(s): Khyrisse, Jack, "Ember"
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Jungleland/Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Ever Stopped A Child From Crying By Startling Them...?
"It's up to you whether I follow my mother to save her from being killed by a lich lord?" shouted Ember.
"Yes! She needs to rest, Ember, she's going to have a mental breakdown at this rate!"
Khyrisse stopped crying very abruptly.
"And it's my responsibility to take care of her!"
"Look, Jack, I know you mean well, but--"
Khyrisse sat up slowly, eyes wide. She lifted a hand, mouth twitching a bit; and for a moment, she looked as if she were so busy trying to decide whether to laugh or shout that she couldn't get any words out. Finally she cleared her throat, and Ember and Jack turned to look at her, both a little surprised.
Khyrisse let out a shaky but amused little chuckle, and looked right at Ember. "Mother?" she repeated.

Character(s): "Ember"
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: Mother And Child Reunion
"What?" Ember blinked, uncomprehending, and then her eyes flew open wide and her hand flew over her mouth. "Oh, merde!"
That was it for Khyrisse, who fell over to one side, all her pent-up energy spraying out in gasps of laughter.
"Well, it doesn't really matter," the time-traveler said quickly. "Most of my timestream only exists to you because of Luthien, right? Who knows if I'm part of your real future or not. So forget I said anything--"
"Who's your father?"
"It doesn't matter," she said, "look, I don't want to tell you anything else. I don't want to mess up your timestream. Okay? Especially not if I'm not supposed to be part of it. So just help me do this, I'll go away, and you'll just do whatever you want to. Don't worry about me. Okay?" She hesitated for a moment. "But can I, just tell you something that you told me, once? When you're having trouble in your life, it doesn't help to run away. You just have to shoulder it and move on. You can't let your emotional reactions to things get in the way of what really matters to you."
"I said that???"
"Um," said Ember, "I hadn't been going to say anything, but I think having a baby must have really mellowed you or something."
Khyrisse wheezed laughter, and then Ember grabbed her and hugged her like she'd been dying of her inability to do it since she'd arrived.

Character(s): Jack, Khyrisse, "Ember"
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: Jungleland
Title of Post: Do I Have To Repeat The Recipe Again...?
Khyrisse was a bit startled by the bond she immediately felt towards Ember. I must be really emotionally oversensitive, or this is the sort of thing that crosses even timelines, she thought ruefully, and hugged "Ember" fiercely in return. Ha, knowing me, probably both. "Oh, Grendel, and here I've been looking at you since you arrived like you were a potential Ariath," she murmured into her daughter's-- boy, was that idea going to take getting used to-- hair, mournfully. "I'm sorry."
"That bitch!" Ember exclaimed, surprising another laugh out of Khyrisse.
She pulled back a bit and looked at Ember closely. "I don't know where you get your looks from," was all she said, with a rueful smile.
"I can't tell you, really," Ember said.
"I know," Khyrisse reassured her. But with your coloring and my track record, there's about one person in the world that can be your father. And Luthien the Lich Lord appeared in our timeline after I met him, I think. The belief that had been weighing on her all this time, that Ebreth would never recover from his second trip to Hell, lifted just a little bit more. It's a different timeline, don't assume anything! But... it's more hope than I had, anyway. Particularly after today. Jack cleared his throat, interrupting the non-discussion. He probably wants to know if he has to be leader or not, she thought in amusement. He told me himself, not so long ago, that he wanted to avoid that job...
Khyrisse turned and smiled at him. "Jack, thank you... But I think I want to try to stay on for a little while longer. I need a break really badly, I know... I'm still--" Khyrisse paused, and sighed, looking down at her hands. She looked tired again. "I was still wobbling from what happened to Trade, really, when I met the Rat Pack. But I'd just sit there on the islands and fret if I weren't here. If I want to stress myself, I can do it here and not have to think that the world or my best friend's life are probably going to end because I decided to take a vacation."

Character(s): "Ember"
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: Ashes to Ashes
Title of Post: One Last Secret
Ember caught her mother's shoulder as she got up to leave. "Mom," she said, "Khyrisse! One more thing. Please. Help me keep this a secret from Skitch. He's so young. I don't want him to have to--I'm going to die soon."
Khyrisse paused a beat. "Of course," she whispered, and hugged the beautiful time-traveler again. Well, I can stop being jealous, I guess, she thought ruefully. "Of course, Ember."
"Thank you," she said softly, great emotion beneath the velvet surface of her voice.

Character(s): Jack Paris
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Bungle in the Jungle
Title of Post: Jack Gives Up
Jack didn't know what to say. Once again, everything had seemed to work out without him doing much but interfere. Shrugging, he slowly backed out of the room to let mother and daughter get to know each other.
"Is everything okay?" Val asked as he exited the room.
"Um. It's kind of a long story, but she seems to be doing better."
"I think we probably ought to have someone look after her," Val offered. "Maybe I should..."
"Ember's in there. I think she's the best person for the job right now."
"You're not telling me everything, are you?" Val asked.
"Not yet, but I will later. I promise."
Val touched Jack's hand. "We'll get through this."
"Yick! Kerouac hates mushy stuff... get a bed, people."

Character(s): Alphred
Author: Jeff Hersh
Storyline: Jungle Interlude
Title of Post: Lord of the Jungle, Comedy Relief
Alphred stormed into the room with Khyrisse and Ember.
"Spirit Maiden, the Rodent who Knows tell me you will be leaving. I am afraid I cannot allow that."
Khyrisse and Ember looked at Alphred. Then they looked back at each other and broke into hysterics. Alphred was very confused.

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Indian clothes shopping * Native American drum kits * Indian home decoration * Native American woman's tattoo * The Skraelings

View Native American peace pipe ritual and Pacific Northwest art resource centre
Read Lora's Siege of Avalon cheat and buy computer game
Native site of the day: Native american bone pipe beads supplies