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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

We'll Always Have Paris Archives
Shikinti Blue, Part III



Character(s): Kynvelyn and Fleegle
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Kynvelyn and Fleegle Meet The Remnant
Title of Post: Thief's Price

"Okay, so this thing is a big red rock. It's not going to cause strange effects on me for forty-eight hours, is it?"
Wahwahwah, wahwah wahwahwah.
"Okay, gotcha. Perfectly safe."
Fleegle cocked his head trying to listen to Kynvelyn's ear. Kynvelyn whapped him on the head. "It's a spell. You can't hear it. What? No, I wasn't talking to you."
Wahwahwahwah wah wahwah wah wahwahwah.
"Yeah, not a problem. I can get it before the big cheese leaves for his secret sanctuary. No, I don't know where that is. The piece I was going for is on this stupid boat."
"I knew it was a stupid idea for a guy who hates water to steal something from a boat," Fleegle sighed.
"Shut up! No, not you. It's the pain in my ass again."
Wahwah wahwahwah wah wahwah wah wahwah?
"As good as done. Now, about my price..."
Wah?
"I want one of those speedy carts you've got."
Wah wah wahwah?!?
"Hey, it seems like a fair trade."
"Ask for some food, too."
"And a pastrami sandwich for Fleegle."
Wah wahwahwah wah wahwahwahwah. Wahwah wahwahwah.
"I'll be here!" Kynvelyn smiled. "Uh, how do you hang this thing up?"
"What'd she say?" Fleegle asked.
"She said she'd call me back. I think she likes me."
"You think everyone in a skirt likes you."
"Well, they do."
"Jah. Right. As if."
"Hey, you'd better hope she does, or you'll be eating brains for the next month."
"The pastrami does sound good."
"Then shut up and let me plan this."
"Silence, everyone! Kynvelyn needs to think!"
"Bite me."

Character(s): Ebreth Tor
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: Shikinti Blue
Title of Post: The Cycle Of Codependency

"We're not going to be able to just save him," sighed Ebreth. "He gave himself to Ćlwyn. Even if we found him he wouldn't come with us, not unless we knock him out and drag him with us."
"Vote for that!" said Valende, still angry.
"We've got to destroy the Remnant out from under him. If we do that, if we get rid of Ćlwyn--maybe we'll be able to rescue him from what's left of the Remnant then. Khyrisse, what's Kynvelyn say?"

Character(s): Khyrisse and Ebreth
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Thieves... Why Did It Have To Be Thieves?

Khyrisse was staring into space, scarlet blazing across her cheekbones. Her pupils had swallowed up the gold sparks in her eyes, leaving only a shadowy purple ring around the black.
Her hands shook as she pushed away from the table. "He says he’ll do it, but he’s asking a price for it that I won’t pay," she said as she got up, in a voice that was both louder and sharper than it needed to be. "I’ll be right back; I need some air."
Vas placed a hand on Val's arm to prevent her from following. He shook his head in an exaggerated fashion.
"Did you see her pulse?" Val whispered fiercely at him.
"Unless you would like to have Milady show you your own, sister, I suggest you give her the five minutes she needs to subdue her temper," Vas said, grinning.
"Yikes," Skitch said, and buried his face in his mug of cider. “I wonder what he asked for?”
Khyrisse slammed out of the house.

Character(s): Ebreth Tor, Jack 3.0
Author: Laura Redish (well, and one line from Doug)
Storyline: WAHP: Shikinti Blue
Title of Post: Redux

Jack looked up into the deep blue eyes of Ebreth Tor. He tried very hard not to kill the man. "Ebreth Tor," he murmured.
Ebreth was having the strangest sense of deja vu.
"It's a long story," he said. "I'm a different man. I've got the same memories but a different personality."
Jack looked at him carefully. "And Lita," he finally said, "do you-- remember--her?"
"Oh, no, Jack, I am not telling you this again. He was, responsible, for her death. That's all you need to know." Ebreth met his familiar eyes. "What about you, what's the deal with you and the Jack I know?"
"Uh," he said, suddenly on the defensive, "well, I, uh, have different memories but the same
personality." He stopped, a certain hopefulness transparent on his face that it would be enough of an explanation.
It didn't really matter. "Then you're a good man," Ebreth said quietly, and walked away.

Character(s): Khyrisse and Ebreth
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen and Laura Redish
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris (and probably Khyri's temper as well)
Title of Post: "Distract, Defuse, Refocus"

Khyrisse was pacing up and down on the path outside, hair whipping angrily behind her like a battle-standard.
“Khyrisse.” Ebreth’s voice, the tone he usually used to calm her down.
Khyrisse muttered something incomprehensible and kept pacing. As she passed the Carriage, she aimed a vicious kick at one of the wheels. The whole contraption shuddered.
Ebreth picked her right up off the ground, effortlessly. She wiggled around angrily. His face two inches from hers, he said, “Calm down.”
She growled in the back of her throat and glared obstinately at him for a second... then gave in and puffed her disheveled curls out of her face. “All right. Okay.” Another fit of squirming, and then, a bit plaintively, “Ebreth, you can put me down.”
Ebreth set her gently back on her feet. “Now, do you want to tell me what’s got you so angry?”
Khyrisse flung her hands up. “Oh, not much, Kynvelyn just wants a Trade Carriage...! I could kill him!”
“Well, he's a cat burglar, Khyrisse. I wasn't expecting him to do this out of the goodness of his heart.”
“He’s not getting one!”
“That’s fine. He's within his rights to ask, Khyrisse, and that's all he did. Tell him no.”
“It's telling him no politely that I’m trying to manage! If I’m rude to him, he’ll just try to steal one! He might try to steal one anyway! Grendel, why doesn’t he ask me to slit open my wrists and pour him a nice warm drink, too!"
“Do you think he knows how much those things take out of you? Just tell him it's not worth that much to you. He'll either name a lower price or he'll go his way. We don't even know if getting the prototype would help Jack anyway. Come on, honey, you're overreacting here.”
Khyrisse flashed him a dour look, obviously not much appreciating the information. After a moment, though, she held her temples and sighed. “Okay, all right, it's not like he knew what he was asking for. To Kynvelyn it's probably just some expensive little magical toy that he can take advantage of."
“I'll tell you right now I had no idea what went into making magic items until I met you.”
She shook her head furiously. “That's part of why I'm mad, but it's not why I won't give him one!” She went back to pacing. "They're all I've got to build New Trade with, they were designed to replace the Trade Gates! One of their biggest virtues is that they’re unique. What else do I have to offer a bunch of bickering governments that they wouldn’t rather do for themselves, without the hassle of the limitations I might put on them?” She buried her hands in her hair. “And New Trade not even so much as off the blueprints yet! Let Kynvelyn muck it all up so he can have a getaway vehicle? NO!!”
Ebreth picked her up by the elbows again, and put her on the step above him, this time. She was still shorter than he was. “Then don't give him one, but don't let it get to you this way." He pressed gently into the taut lines of her shoulders and throat, massaging the tension away. Khyrisse relaxed a little and let him, head dropping, eyes closed. “And if he tries to steal it from you, well Khyrisse, honey, he's a better burglar than I am, but I'm a much better assassin.” He kissed her hair lightly. Khyrisse lifted her head and looked at him, surprised. She then threw her arms around him fiercely, resting her head on his chest with a grateful sigh.
She pulled away after a moment. “All right. I’ll call Kynvelyn back and tell him a polite no. ...I think I can manage that now.”
“Just tell him you're sorry, but it's not worth that much to you. That's all. You've let him know it's there; maybe he'll steal it for the hell of it, if he gets bored later. It wouldn't be out of character.”
Khyrisse rolled her eyes and said “Thieves!”, in the exact tone a misogynist might have used in saying “Women!”
“Well, we were calling him up and asking him to steal something, Khyrisse. You can't very well get annoyed at him for being a thief.”
Khyrisse flashed a sudden grin at him, full of wry amusement at her own expense. “I can’t? You don’t know me very well, Ebreth Tor.”
“Well, maybe you can,” he whispered, his eyes twinkling at her, and kissed her. “But it's no good for you, so knock it off.”

Character(s): Kynvelyn, Fleegle
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Abbott and Costello Meet The Remnant
Title of Post: Next Time I'll Just Ask For Parking Validation

"So?"
"She said no," Kynvelyn sighed.
"Bummer," Fleegle said.
"I know. I was really pumped to go drive circles on Eric's lawn."
"So, what now?"
"Oh, I'll probably steal it anyway. It's on the shelf next to the Minaret."
"Maybe we can make a nice centerpiece out of it."
"Actually, I was thinking of going into the auction business."
"You've got the mouth for it."
"Bite me, Pima."

Character(s): Jack and the Pack
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Shikinti Blue Hangover
Title of Post: And We Were Doing, Uh, What Again?

Jack didn't know if being liked by Ebreth Tor was more or less upsetting than having him as an enemy.
He didn't know if he wished he hadn't heard that he was supposed to be in a relationship with the really beautiful elf who looked at him so distrustfully all the time.
He wasn't sure if he should feel responsible for Cori's death.
He couldn't tell if he had done the right thing, revealing what he knew about the Passage.
Truth to tell, Jack Paris knew very little at the present time, and he didn't even have someone to talk about it with. Sure, it was great to see Crandall, but the two had always been more buddies than confidantes. Cori had been the one he had always turned to with his worries. Cori and Robinson, who no one wanted to broach the subject of either, apparently.
Jack wished that he could go back to hiding in the temple. Things were so much simpler there. Now, surrounded by people, he felt more alone than ever.
"No go," Ebreth said, coming into the common room. "Kynvelyn's not going to take the Prototype. We need to find another way to locate Ćlwyn."
"I think that confronting Po will tell us what we need to know," Hari said.
"Maybe Rani could figure it out for us," Marty said. "She's smarter than anyone."
"Not smarter than Tarrin," Skitch muttered.
"Who to ignore, who to ignore," Rani sighed to herself.
Jack noticed people kept looking at him, like he'd know what to do.
"Don't ask me," he said. "I'm just a mathematician."

Character(s): Flicker
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: Shikinti Blue
Title of Post: Group Dynamic

Flicker couldn't help being a bit fascinated by the group dynamic that had evolved in the Rat Pack. The New Mithril Dagger Heroes had struggled, under duress, about what course of action to take, because there were too many voices of command. The Rat Pack seemed to struggle because they had none. They bumbled along in some direction or another, bumping into each other and constantly asking who was in charge and what to do next, until someone was in enough pain to shout, and then they moved in that person's direction for a bit, and receded to form. There was something strangely democratic about it. It didn't seem very efficient, but things did get done, somehow.
"Confronting Chu-I Po would only help our cause anyway," he added his own quiet voice, "and we owe it to a fallen teammate. Whether we find something of use there or not, Jack and Garal can still take us through the Passage afterward, and it is better not to leave enemies behind us."

Character(s): Chu-I Po
Author: Jeff Hersh
Storyline: WAHP: Shikinti Blue on the Rocks
Title of Post: Vampire Wishes

Chu-I Po, in his full-bodied form, sat on his jade throne and clicked his eight inch long nails on the arm rests. He expected to hear back hours ago from his worm ridden agent.
"That pile of pus must have failed," the penagglion thought. "Looks like the onyx hounds will be eating worms tonight."
The master of the Black Serpent Clan turned his head around like an owl. Soon the moon would rise and he would be free of his body in order to feed again. He was especially anxious, for tonight he was planning on drinking the blood of the group of foreigners that were coming to see him.

Character(s): Chu-I Po and pals
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: We’ll Always Have Paris: Shikinti Blue
Title of Post: ATTACK of the KILLER UNDEAD T’ANG DYNASTY ROMANTIC POETS!

"Go, my lieutenants," hissed Chu-I Po. The three chiang-shih wraiths bowed their heads in obedience. "We must prepare the Clan of the Black Serpent to receive our foreign guests. Li Po, Tu Fu, amass a... welcoming comittee. Wang Wei, stay behind. I wish you to prepare a force our expected guests will find somewhat more... crippling."
The penagglion did not possess the evil laugh of an lich lord, but his thin-lipped smile was as sinister as anything an Eastern undead could have come up with.

Character(s): Flicker
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: Shikinti Blue
Title of Post: Breaking It To Jack (because someone had to, dammit)

Flicker watched the Rat Pack flurry around the Order of Redemption in preparation for leaving. Rani had the Remnant head tucked casually under her left arm and was talking with Praxis, glancing down at the head periodically as she did. Khyrisse was smiling. That must have been the shortest hissy fit in recorded history, and Flicker used to date Shannon. Pasirel, he guessed. But it wasn't really any of Flicker's business. Jack was standing by himself, looking lost, and Flicker sighed and went over to the young mathematician. "Jack," he said, "I've already talked to your Other about this, but your father asked me to tell you that it's dangerous for you to leave this plane. Your--" He glanced about, but no one was paying attention. "--mathematics aren't able to handle it. Jack, Robinson's dead. I'm, so very sorry. He was my friend."
Jack looked more stunned than anything, as if someone had slapped him in the face. "But--when--"
"Six months ago," estimated Flicker. He barely knew what month it was himself anymore.
"Was--it the Remnant?"
"No," said Flicker, "he... had a heart attack. You knew he wasn't well."
Jack nodded, trying not to cry. He looked even more staggered than he had the first time, terribly confused and alone, and Flicker put his arms awkwardly around the young equation. "I'm sorry," he said again. There wasn't much else he could say.

Character(s): Marty Hu, Mina Paris
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Shikinti Blue Hangover
Title of Post: Is It My Turn For A Flashback?

Mina sat with Marty, watching the other Packers tend to their own dramas.
"You know," Mina said. "Life's too short to worry too much, I think. Be happy with the now. That's what I say."
"Whoa," Marty said. "That's, like, really wise."
"How about you, Marty? What's your motto?"
"Well, my mantra is 'help'."
"You're one severely warped guy, you know that?" Mina asked, smiling.
"Yeah. I never fit in as a kid in Huville."
"Whoville?"
"That's where I grew up. My dad was a great warrior and my mom was a great enchantress... uh, or maybe it was the other way around..."
"Which one carried the sword?"
"Oh, that was Squire Tuck. Anyway, because our parents were, you know, the depressors, all the kids used to stay away from me. All the Hus down in Huville, the tall and the small. Only my family really liked me. Well, except my sister, of course."
"I'm sorry. But hey, you've got friends now. Better late than never, right?"
"Wow... that's really wise. Did you make that up? The better late part?"
Mina blinked. "Yes. Yes, Marty, I did."
"Anyway, so my mom trained me in the arts of Great Heroic Combat, and, like, my dad taught my sister magic."
"I didn't know you had a sister."
"Oh, yeah! She's a powerful evil sorceress!" Marty said proudly, then frowned. "Uh, that's cool except for the, you know, evil part. She's as smart as I'm strong."
"If that works the other way around, she probably can't get out of bed in the morning," Rani said, passing by.
Mina stuck her tongue out at Rani's back.
"I saw that," Rani said.
"Wow. She's watching me even when she's not looking," Marty beamed.
"So what happened with you and your sister?" Mina asked, changing the subject.
"Oh, well, like, when my parents died--after our castle was revolted by the peasants?--I inherited the Sword of All-Encompassing Light from my dad." Marty tapped his sword, which hummed happily. "My sister inherited my mom's Grimoire of Ultimate Darkness."
"Good and evil... so you battled, brother against sister, for the final test of light and dark?"
"No, we mainly fought over the bathroom," Marty said. "But then she left to go, uh, do evil and crap, y'know?"
"And you haven't seen her since."
"No, I get my ass kicked by her minions and servitors every few months. You know, just to keep in touch?"
"Huville must have been one screwed up place," Mina sighed.
"Not any more! It's an anarcho-synchronous commune now. They grow beans! Man, do I like beans..."
"Well, maybe the Rat Pack can help you against your sister one day."
'I dunno," Marty said. "Gaby's pretty evil, and, like way powerful. She's, like, really sneaky and smart, too."
"Gaby?" Mina asked, old rumors from the Word flashing to mind.
"Yeah, Gabriella. That's her name. But I call her Gaby."
"Oh, flark," Mina whispered.
"Or sometimes Gabs. Or Gabliocious. Or 'you big meanie', when she's torturing me and stuff."

Character(s): Orlen and Rani
Author: Eric Gasior (with input from Laura)
Storyline: WAHP: Shikinti Blue
Title of Post: Details

Orlen watched the Rat Pack leave their meeting room. He wasn't sure who was in charge. Most everyone seemed preoccupied, but Rani was finishing up a conversation with Praxis.
"...well, I'll see if I can activate it somehow. It's worth a try," he heard her say.
"Good hunting," Praxis replied as they shook hands.
"Rani," Orlen said as she turned towards him. She looked at him in a way that he couldn't figure out. "I wondered if you could use some more help with Chu-I Po."
She shrugged and said, "Sure, why not?"

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