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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

We'll Always Have Paris Archives
Passage, Part VI

Character(s): Belle (GA-4, not 1234A or whatever)
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Reclamation: Outsourcing
Title of Post: Work For Hire Contracts

Belle dripped the wax onto the seal and pressed her signet ring into the hot puddle. It dried quickly, and she placed the letter next to its four twins.
"All done," she said to the Montasi courier who had met her at the dock. "You can guarantee these letters will get to their destinations within two weeks time?"
"Or your money back," the courier smiled.
Belle nodded. She retrieved her satchel from the floor next to the table, and strode out of the pierside tavern. There was a boat heading to Javin. She would be on it.
Belle watched as the courier headed down the dock. The contact with the Emperor had given her all the information she needed. Diarians tended to forget that she was optimized in every statistic, not just her physical ones.
I'll deal with this guy, Belle thought. And it'll be a night to remember. I guarantee it.
She climbed the gangplank to the departing ship, and began her own reclamation.

Character(s): Rani, Vickie, Amatsu
Author: Jonah Cohen
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Star-crossed
Title of Post: Power to the Newbies!

"We'll have to do this the old fashioned way," Rani said.
"She's right," Vickie Dare said, hopping eagerly out of the Trade Carriage. She really hoped no one was just going to stare into some crystal ball, where was the fun in that? "This place is crawling with people. Or whatever they are. That means all the info we need is out there for the taking, you just need to know how to get it." She smiled.
"And much can be learned simply by observing from the shadows," Amatsu added quietly.

Character(s): Rani, Flicker
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream
Title of Post: Blobs Are Blobs, All Over The World

Rani was running her gloved hand along the molding of one of the strange metal buildings, looking at the building rather than the street in front of her, when she ran smack into an oozing mound of sludge. "Oh, fuck," she sighed, resolutely bringing her arm around in front of her throat in a defensive stance.
"Apologies my," said the creature, in passable Dalen, and oozed on.
"Huh," said Rani, watching it go. "Well, the blobs here are sure more polite than they are back home."
"Zzenith," said Flicker, suddenly.
"I don't think that's Zzenith," Khyrisse frowned after the creature. "Zzenith's more of a purplish-green, and this guy's more of a--"
"No, no." Flicker shook his blond head. "The Passage. Zzenith can use the Passage to find his way home." He paused. "Assuming we don't destroy the Passage. Or this whole space station."
"Whoa," said Marty, "you don't think we're going to do that, do you, scary eye dude?"
"Well," said Flicker, "my track record for doing good deeds without pyrrhic losses isn't that great, really."

Character(s): Rani and Ebreth
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: Rats In Space
Title of Post: Rani Rolls A Few Successes

The cantina was hopping with bizarre-looking creatures and infectious bippity music. "Perfect!" said Vickie Dare. "I always get my best information from bars."
"Me too," said Rani, completely deadpan, and sank both her gloved hands into the counter about an inch and a half.
"Funky music, too!" Vickie danced to herself, an oddly appealing little motion with both her fists closed.
"Rani," the half-Diari introduced herself to the reptilian creature on the barstool next to her. "Rimbor City PI."
"Wherrrrrrrrrre?" it hissed.
"Doesn't matter," she said. "But I'm on a case, not trolling. I thought you might appreciate the opportunity to get your hand off my leg before I ram it down your throat."
"Sssssssssss," said the alien lizard, and withdrew its webbed paw.
"Should we maybe be letting someone friendly do the talking?" Skitch wanted to know.
Ebreth looked around. "No," he said, "this is really Rani's kind of bar, actually. Khyrisse, keep a good eye on him, right?"
Khyrisse took Skitch's hand firmly in hers.
"Hey!" wailed Skitch, then turned his head as a humanoid woman with a feline head squeezed by him. "She must be from the Abyss, she's barely wearing anyth--"
"Be quiet, Skitch!" Khyrisse shook him.
"Please to remove your phalanges from inside my bar please!" said the most hyperactive-looking illithid anyone in the group had ever seen, scurrying up behind the bar and flapping a white towel enthusiastically in Rani's direction. She did. "Rani," she said again, "Rimbor City PI. Whiskey straight up. The shit's hitting the fan around here, isn't it?"
"It is most assuredly so! Please to let me inspect your form of currency please."
"This is plenty." She tossed three gold coins to the counter. "How long has Starcross been under assault now?"
"Heaven to Betsy it has been a long time now most certainly it has indeed!" The illithid bit one of the coins. "Please do not touch my brain with your brain, little girl."
"Right," she sighed. "Can you give me a straight answer, please?"
"Now it has been nearly four hundred rotations now. You would be Paris people, I think so yes?"
"Yes," said Jack, surprised. "How did you know that?"
Rani's eyes went suddenly and incongruously wide.
"Most definitely five months in your time, indeed, possibly even as much as six, very true." He frowned and leaned over to swat at Rani with his towel. "Please to stop doing that to my bar please."
"No prob," said Rani, and threw her entire whiskey back. "Keep the change. Let's move, people."
"Are there other Parises here now?" Jack asked the illithid bartender.
Ebreth, who had been the first to pick up on it, grabbed Marty and Mina and steered them to the door, shooting a look at Khyrisse over his shoulder.
"Yes that is assuredly so young man. Would you maybe be a member of that illustrious family perhaps?"
-Stop him-, Rani's mental voice sliced hard through Valende's mind, -now-.
"Yes, I'm J--mmph!" Jack almost tripped right to the none-too-clean barroom floor as Val threw herself on him and kissed him ferociously.
"We offer most excellent hourly private accomodations priced by the hour," offered the illithid.
"No, I think they need the whole night," said Ebreth, grabbing them by the shoulders. "There's nothing you can do when they get like this. Come on, you two."
"Humans," hissed a thri-kreenish creature at the bar, rolling its compound eyes and rattling laughter, which several aliens joined it in.
"It's our way," Ebreth grinned back at the insectoid, with a charming one-shouldered shrug, pulling the rather wide-eyed Jack and the still-kissing Val backward through the door of the bar.
Rani didn't stop glancing surreptitiously over her shoulder for four blocks.
"All right," she finally said, hard, while Khyrisse counted heads. "Three things. First of all, it's not the Remnant on those starships. The Remnant just got hold of the Passage this week, and the aerial assault's been going on for months. Second, this place is just about to blow. The leaders here are seriously on the ropes, they lost a major hardpoint a few days ago, and a lot of drinking men are thinking full-scale occupation within the week. And third." She turned to stare at Jack Paris, trying raggedly to get his air and his composure back. "What the fuck are you, and why does this enemy invader want you badly enough that half the bounty hunters who've been at that bar in the last twenty-four hours are looking for you to deliver to him?"

Character(s): {{Jack Paris}}
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Starcrossed
Title of Post: Everybody Wants Jack

Jack took a deep breath, despite not needing to. Man, my other must be one happy mathematician, he sighed to himself.
"I've been living in an abandoned temple for three years. Unless these invaders are being led by the Forgotten Daimyo, I don't have the foggiest idea."
"It must be your Jack," Mina offered to Val. "Unless it's just any Paris."
"Oh, no," Rani said. "They wanted Jack. Even had a description."
"Beard or no beard?" Jack asked.
Rani frowned. "No beard."
"See," Jack shrugged. "Can't be me."
"I've been meaning to ask about that, anyway," Val mused. "Jack doesn't need to shave."
"Like, ah, most of my, um, functions... it's kind of a 'works if I concentrate on it' kind of thing. I waited in an empty temple for you guys for three years. Ever hear about something being as boring as watching hair grow? It's not."
"Well," Ebreth said, "it looks like we've got a new priority to put on the list. Keep our hands on the Jack we've got while we look for the other one."
"You know, you still haven't answered my question," Rani scowled at Jack. "What are you?"
"Right now? I'm half of the most wanted person in space. I think that's enough."
"Parises," sighed Rani. "Can't live with 'em, can't understand a damn word they say."

Character(s): Jack Paris
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Starcrossed
Title of Post: Everybody Wants The Other Jack Too

Jack had never done this before, but he figured it had to be theoretically possible. While he had been working on the Passage prototype, he had also been making a few adjustments of his own. He had shunted enough of the necromantic energy supplied by ∆lwyn to power a very small subset of his number group. It wouldn't be able to do much more than pace the cell and sleep, but it would keep them from learning that he had gone.
Closing his eyes, he extrapolated the set of numbers needed for the basic form, and a duplicate appeared directly in front of him.
"Uh, hi," Jack said.
"Hi." the other Jack said.
"You know what to do?" Jack asked.
"Thank you!" said the subset.
Wow, Jack thought. I made a Rat.
There were three short knocks to the door of his cell. After a moment's rattling from the lock, the door opened.
"Right on time," Jack said.
"What, I look like some sort of amateur? Have you seen this place?" the blonde half-elf grinned. "It's amazing. I can't decide what to steal first."
"I haven't seen anything, Kynvelyn. I'm a prisoner."
"Right, right... too many brains, must be getting to me. You ready to go?"
"Yes," Jack said, looking one last time at the math clone.
"Then let's rock and roll."
"First, take this," Jack said, handing Kynvelyn the letter. "If I don't make it to our rendezvous, bring this to Valende."
"Look, why don't you just hitch a ride with Fleeg and me?" Kynvelyn asked. "We're thinking of snagging one of those Corellian smuggling ships."
"I've got one last thing to do," Jack said. "I've got to betray the Paris family first."
"Whatever floats your boat," Kynvelyn shrugged. "Let's move and groove."

Character(s): The Rat!!!
Author: Jeff Hersh
Storyline: WAHP: Starcrossed
Title of Post: Even in Space there are Rats

The Rat spent most of the day getting to know the topology of the space station. Once he got familiar with the basics, getting around was really easy. There were miles upon miles of hidden ducts and small cracks that he could use. He then started to think. Where could he go to find his companions. He thought and thought for a few hours then the idea struck him. The Rat took off down a seldom used duct to the place he referred to as the 'large building with lots of old and smelly things', in other words he headed straight for the Museum of Space Travel just off the Central Plaza.

Character(s): Rani
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: Rats In Space
Title of Post: What Next?

"So," finished Rani, tapping her gloved fingers on her black denims, "we've got three leads I can see. We can find the beings in charge of this space station and ally with them. We can ignore all of this and make a beeline for ∆lwyn ourselves. If there's an undead army around it ought to be pretty easy to locate. Or we can try to track down the other Jack using whatever arcane methods you don't want to tell me about. What's the word?"

Character(s): The Rat, Ratsputin
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Starcrossed
Title of Post: The Other Rat

The Rat skittered along the duct to the Museum of Space Travel. He wasn't sure what it was that drew him there, but then, of late, his eyes had been opened to a whole new way of thinking.
*Stay! Danger!* came a chittering from ahead.
*No bad claws* offered the Rat.
A large, skinny rat with long whiskers poked its head around the corridor.
*Not here Rat,* the newcomer said.
*Far away Rat,* the Rat responded.
*Welcome here,* said the thin rat. *Ratsputin am.*
*Seeker of Places.*
*Danger ahead, Seeker of Places,* Ratsputin said. *More bigs than before.*
*Friend of bigs,* the Rat said.
*Crazy far away Rat,* Ratsputin shook his head. *Ratsputin knows bigs. Bad bigs.*
*Some bigs friend. Jack friend.*
*Paris Jack?* Ratsputin asked, astonished.
*Yes,* the Rat said.
*Many bigs want Paris Jack. Even Ratsputin knows.*
The Rat twitched his nose in a concerned way.
*Looking for Paris Jack.*
*Ratsputin has friends. Ratsputin know much. Ratsputin help Seeker of Places.*
"Thank you!" the Rat cried.
"'Salright," Ratsputin said. "Anyt'ing to help a pal, youze know?"
It was the Rat's turn to be surprised.

Character(s): Rat, Ratsputin
Author: Jeff Hersh
Storyline: WAHP: Rats in Space
Title of Post: See Rat Sneak... Sneak Rat Sneak

Ratsputin led Seeker of Places through the immense maze of duct work to where other rats had seen Jack. There had been some confusion in the information network the rats maintained about there being more than one Jack Paris, but eventually it was cleared up. Seeker of Places was looking for the Jack with the far away big things. Not the Jack with the dead things.
It didn't take Ratsputin to lead Seeker of Places, known to the Rat Pack as simply the Rat, to the plaza where the Rat Pack stood trying to decide what to do.
*Many thanks and good eating Ratsputin*
*Same feelings Seeker of Places. May your whiskers keep clean.*
*And yours.*
The Rat then crawled out of the duct along the floor and rushed right up onto the nearest Rat Packer's shoulder. Unfortunately that Rat Packer was Marty.

Character(s): Vickie, Garal
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris: Starcrossed
Title of Post: Vickie's New Project

While the council pondered their next move, Vickie wandered over to one of the nearby merchant booths. "What's this?" she asked, picking up a short wand with a rounded end.
"Ah, very good," the merchant said through a mouth that looked like seaweed. "This wand of Muscle Relaxion. Only thirty standard units."
"What does it do?" Vickie asked. She turned a small knob on the bottom and the wand started to hum in her hand.
"Press to muscles, tension go away."
"I'll take two," Vickie said, pulling some gold out of her satchel. "What about this?" she asked, pointing to a crystalline figure of a chariot.
"That Planar Cart," the merchant said. "Travel through space and time."
"Space and time?" Vickie perked up.
"Two thousand standard units," the merchant lolled.
I want one! the voice cried.
"You don't want it," came a quiet voice from behind her.
It was Garal Tinderhook.
"Why not?" Vickie said, looking at the halfling with a curious smile.
"It's based on the principles of planar travel, but the energy requirements are so great that it only allows an alteration field of about, oh, one cubic centimeter."
"Thanks, Garry," she smiled, and returned the figurine to the merchant, whose seaweed hung disappointedly. "You're good people."
"Actually, it's Garal," Garal said.
"Garry's cuter," Vickie said, taking the halfling's arm and starting back toward the carriage.
"Who am I to disagree with such a recommendation," the halfling said meekly.
"You know," Vickie said, "of all the Packers, I think I know you the least... we need to get you out more."
"I travel a lot," Garal offered.
"Nah, I mean out among your friends. First thing, I think, is to do something with this." Vickie pulled a brush out of her satchel and untied his pony tail. "This is so last year," Vickie said, brushing some bangs down over one eye in a stylish sweep.
"I can't see out of my left eye," Garal offered.
"Ah, you don't need to," Vickie grinned. "Once we get you fixed up, Garry, you'll have so many women surrounding you, you won't be able to see anyway."
"Um, maybe we should go check on the others."
Just then, there was a loud, high pitched scream from the direction of the Carriage.
"Marty," Garal and Vickie said to each other.

Character(s): Ebreth, Rani, the Rat
Author: Laura Redish (with more homages from Doug)
Storyline: WAHP: Rats In Space
Title of Post: Full Circle

"Aaaaaaaaaaah!" screamed Marty Hu, flailing his hands in a panic. "Space rats! They've got me! Run, Rani!"
Ebreth reacted instinctually enough to catch the rodent as his erstwhile apprentice batted him frantically from his shoulder. "Rat!" he said. "Jack, where's Jack?"
The Rat chittered in the mathematician's direction at the name.
"I know that," said Ebreth. "Where's ours?"
"How'd he get here?" Skitch wanted to know.
"He must have followed Jack. Listen, Rat, can you lead us to ∆lwyn?"
Rani was giving Ebreth the look of her life. "You're talking--to a rat."
"This, Rani, is our party leader," said Tor.
"A rat?" said Rani. "You're really following a rat?"
"It's a religious thing," he said.
The rat squeaked and swung his head towards Jack again. While he liked the big-handed man who had rescued him from the giant Rat King, he just wasn't much for meaningful communication.
"Oh," said Ebreth, "right," and handed the Rat to Jack. "A little help here?"

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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

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