LNH/ACRA: The Alt.Riders #38

Jamas Enright thad at eyrie.org
Fri Jul 15 15:07:36 PDT 2005

Blue Light Productions presents:

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| #38  |   |   |  | |  |   |   | |   |     |  \ | |  | |  | |    |___
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     [The top half is a postcard picture of San Fran.cis.co.ca. The bottom
      half, on the back of the postcard, is "Wish you were here instead
                          of me, Marsha"]
                     "What I Did On My Holidays"
           "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends"

Marsha sipped her frappichino, and stretched her arms in the rays of the
sun. The morning light looked particularly spectacular in San
Fran.cis.co.ca, and Marsha was watching it sitting outside a little cafe
that served adequate, if not spectacular, coffee.
      It hadn't been an arduous past few weeks, just cruising around
cities, attempting to eat away a large chuck of her family's fortune (not
even slightly possible), wondering from one place to the next. The last
few days she had been in San Fran.cis.co.ca, or "The City", as they called
      Her morning plans involved a) doing nothing, b) chilling out, and c)
relaxing. Her afternoon plans were a) shopping, followed in the evening by
going to see a stunning performance of "Mamma Mia" she had been told she
couldn't miss.
      Finishing her coffee, Marsha ventured out in the early morning
bustle, winding her way casually through the streets, heading for the
beach. Underneath her current outfit of t-shirt and short, she was wearing
an absolutely scandalous bikini she was just waiting to try out.
      Basically, for the first time in a long while, she was feeling good,
      Marsha fell to the ground heavily, sent flying by the force of
another human being knocking into her. She wasn't hurt (of course), but
she still had the wind knocked out of her.
      Looking up, she saw the person looking away from her, so she couldn't
see who it was, not that she would have been able to anyway. The sun was
directly behind her assailant, outlining them in a literally blinding glow
Marsha had to protect her eyes from.
      She barely made out a hand reaching down to her, and she grasped it
to be pulled to her feet without any signs of an effort.
      "Sorry about that, I..." her attacker's voice trailed off. Marsha
could now see that the person was a woman, built on the large side,
someone who obviously spent a long time in a gym, bulking up, but bulking
up on muscle. Her face...there was something familiar about her face, but
Marsha couldn't quite place it. At the moment, it was displaying
astonishment. "Marsha? Marsha Burgenstock?"
      Now, Marsha had been a "superhero" for quite a while now, off and on
for various reasons, and had been in the news more than once, and she
didn't even wear a mask (she didn't care if anyone went after her
family...and would more than welcome anyone to try), so occasionally being
recognised was one of the occupational hazards she had dealt with from
time to time.
      But in those instances, she was recognised as "Dva of the
Alt.Riders", or sometimes "Softcentre of the Alt.Riders" depending on
which news updates they had gotten, and, if she was lucky, merely asked
for an autograph (the other askances often led to...unpleasantness).
      This was the first time in a very long while anyone had recognised
her as who she really was.
      "Er...yes?" Marsha replied. The voice did stir a few memories, but
nothing she could place just yet.
      "Wow. I never expected...hey, uh," the woman quickly looked around,
scanning for something, and spied a nearby cafe. "Let's go over here, duck
out of this sun, and catch up, eh?"
      Marsha wasn't given a chance to answer as the woman took a solid
grasp on her arm, and hauled her inside. The woman sat down in the middle
of the room, with Marsha sitting down opposite her.
      "Why don't you order us something?" the woman offered, and Marsha,
although still a little behind in events, obligingly did so, deciding that
her hectic schedule would survive a little change in plans. Marsha was
facing the main counter at the back of the shop, so held up two fingers,
then made the universal sign for coffee with Baileys. The young girl
behind the till nodded, and set about preparing them.
      "It must be years since I saw you last," the woman opposite her
continued. "Well, yeah, not since school."
      Oh. Click. "Ten-t-" Marsha hurried stopped herself before continuing
*that* particular nickname. "Er, Tabitha? Yeah, haven't seen you since
Switzerland. You're looking...good," she said, a little lamely and feeling
a degree of shame that she hadn't recognised her old school...well,
'friend' wasn't the best word when a word like 'bully' was available, but
time passed and the stupidities of childhood seemed so...stupid.
      If Tabitha picked up on Marsha's slip of the tongue, she didn't let
one, although there was a small smile twitching her lips. "Yeah, you're
looking pretty good too. I see you on the news every now and then. How's
the superhero business working out for you?"
      Well, that explained how Tabitha recognised her so easily. "Um, yeah,
pretty good. Saved the world a few times, you know how it goes."
      "Well, not really," Tabitha replied, "but it sounds exciting."
      "So, what happened to you then?"
      "The usual, left school, got a job. In the courier business,
actually," Tabitha said.
      There was a momentary pause, which Marsha was grateful for, as the
waitress (whom Marsha suspected wasn't even in her teens yet) deliver
their Irish coffees. Right now, Marsha was glad for the opportunity to get
some alcohol in her, whatever it took.
      After a sip, Marsha asked, "Takes you around the world? Or just the
      "Global opportunities," Tabitha replied. "Bit of a tricky delivery
right now."
      "Oh, er, I'm not stopping you or anything, am I?" Marsha asked
      "No, no, got some time yet." Tabitha was obviously as unprepared for
this as Marsha, her gaze kept slipping away as much as Marsha's was.
      Another sip of coffee brought Marsha time for another question. "Kept
up with anyone from school?"
      "Just Joanna Bingley, you remember her?" Marsha barely managed to
stop herself spitting the coffee out of her mouth at the mention of that
name, but managed to cover it with nodding. "Yeah, she's in the courier
business as well. Hey, um...I know this is a bit sudden, but could you
help me out a bit here?"
      Dabbing at her mouth with a napkin, Marsha asked, "Er, yeah, what did
you want?"
      Tabitha brought out a slim package from an inside pocket in the thin
jacket she was wearing. "I've got to get to the airport in about an hour,
and the place I need to deliver this to won't be open until midday. I was
going to just leave it on the doorstep, but that never looks good. Would
you be able to deliver it in person for me?"
      "Uh, well..." Basically, Marsha wanted to say 'no', but inbred
politeness confounded her. She couldn't think of an excuse quickly enough,
because, really, she could easily do it and didn't have anything else
going on that would be a problem, so after a moment she said, "Yes, I
suppose so."
      Tabitha grinned. "That's terrific. The address is on the package,"
she said, slipping it across the table to Marsha. "If you could get it
there before one, that would be the best."
      "So, uh, I suppose this means I'm in the courier business too?"
Marsha said, trying to keep the mood light.
      Tabitha grinned again, a little more widely than Marsha thought the
joke called for. "Yeah, I suppose it does." Tabitha glanced at her watch,
then peered outside. "Look, I hate to dump this on you then run, but I do
have to get to the airport. You understand?" Marsha, still slightly
bewildered by all this, nodded. "Marvellous. Can you take care of this?"
she asked, waving at her untouched coffee, and Marsha nodded again.
"Great. Maybe I'll see you around again."
      Tabitha stood up and started to leave, then paused for a moment.
Turning to Marsha, she bent and whispered, "I do remember 'Ten-ton'...
      It was at times like this Marsha was glad for her dark skin, as the
blushes didn't show up as clearly. She heard Tabitha leave, looked down at
the package she had been left with, and decided she needed something far
stronger than Irish coffee.


Marsha closed her eyes and tried to let her mind relax, let the sun warm
her to near sleep, as she lay on the beach, showing off her body to anyone
who wanted to see it (and there were plenty, the perverts...).
Unfortunately, it kept straying to the package at her side, currently
bundled in her clothes. The package made her restless, a sudden burden of
responsibility when she was supposed to be on holiday.
      Perhaps she should head to a gym instead? Work off some energy (and a
few pounds, her mind added)?
      "Mind if I enjoy the view?" a voice asked.
      Marsha smiled. Not that she was interested, but it was nice to be
appreciated. "Depends on if you only intend on look-" she started, but by
then she had opened her eyes, and taken in her new admirer. And his
naturally dark skin.
      Her smile faded. "&@#* off," she said without further prevarication.
      The man's expression went sour. "There's no need to be like that," he
hissed, kneeing down low. "Just trying to be pleasant." His voice became
low. "I've heard about women like you. Always teasing, always trying to
get at men."
      Marsha glanced around, quickly, but this area of the beach was
relatively deserted. Still, there were a few people within hearing
distance if she started screaming.
      "I've got a good mind to-" the man lashed out, and grabbed her arm.
And sank his fingers deep into her skin. Deeper than what would be
considered normal. "What the...?"
      The man released Marsha, backing away quickly. "Freak! You're a
freak!" he yelled, drawing attention to them, but not the kind of
attention Marsha was wanting.
      However, rather than get embarrassed, Marsha gave the traditional
Italian response involving the hand under the chin. "*##& off, ya
b at st@rd," she snarled back.
      "Freak!" the man, incensed that Marsha wasn't feeling shame, stepped
forwards and slapped Marsha across her face with the back of his hand. In
full view of witnesses.
      Marsha brought a hand up to her face, partly because of the sting,
partly to hide a smile. Right, this was what she needed to work off her
energy. Jumping up, she lashed out with her foot, but unfortunately missed
her target. "Get away from me!" she screamed, more acting than angry.
      The man had moved quickly out of the way of foot, and slowly started
to become aware of the scene they were causing. "That woman is a freak!"
he called out to the audience. "A freak of nature!"
      Marsha sighed, her anger suddenly giving way to weariness. "Oh, sod
off," she said. "You're not worth it."
      "Freak!" the man called out again, but now others were also turning
away from them.
      Marsha picked her clothes up. Although she wasn't running away from
the man by any interpretation, the beach experience was ruined. Perhaps
she could find a bar open somewhere.
      Leaving the man raving behind her, Marsha headed back to the city.


Marsha kicked the ground, restless as she walked along, feeling on display
as she made her way through the city. Now she wished she had on more than
just a t-shirt and shorts.
      Glancing at the package in her hand, Marsha rechecked the address and
where she was. Turning the package over and over in her hands, she
wondered what it was. It wasn't large, barely longer than her hand, but
thin and flat. It didn't rattle as she shook it, but that wasn't any help.
      The area around her was industrial, lots of building complexes and
warehouses. Fortunately there were no workmen around whistling at her, but
she felt she was just one work crew away from muumuus and veils.
Fortunately, the time had come for her to deliver the package, and then
she could get out of there.
      Before her rose a large glass building, shining in the sun, and
reflecting light in her eyes. It was immensely over ostentatious, the
building equivalent of walking into a shop and flashing wads of cash.
      Marsha had access to more cash than she could waste in a month, but
even she was impressed by that. The name was emblazoned at the top of the
tower, plainly visible for all to see. Frolicks Inc.
      What Frolicks Inc did was a mystery, but it was clear that here was
where they did it. Something about that name was familiar to Marsha, and
it took her a few moments to place it.
      Of course. It was the name of the place on the package! Which meant
that Marsha, whose current ensemble was suited for sunshine and outside,
would have to enter that temple of business efficiency.
      The things she did for people she barely knew...


Marsha entered the lobby cautiously. She felt extremely underdressed for
the building, and expected at any moment to be grabbed by a security guard
and heaved out the door. The lobby was large and empty, just a desk with a
receptionist at the far end. Marsha gripped the package tightly and made
her way over the floor.
      The receptionist started watching Marsha as she was halfway there,
making her feel all the more self-conscious. After nearly an eternity,
Marsha made it to the desk, and tried to smile.
      "Can I help you?" the receptionist asked, in a slow and clear voice.
      "I've got a package for you," Marsha said, holding it up.
      The receptionist looked doubtful, but reached out and took it between
two fingers, looking at the label. "Oh, a courier package." She looked
over the package for a moment. "Should I sign for it?"
      Marsha shrugged. "I'm actually delivering it for a...a friend. She
didn't say anything about signing for it."
      "Really? That sounds...perhaps I should contact security."
      Marsha frowned. "What? Why?"
      The receptionist picked up a phone and tapped a few buttons. "You're
not the courier?" Marsha shook her head. The receptionist was about to say
something else when someone came on the phone. "Yes, Evelyn in Reception.
We've received a package, but it's been delivered by a friend.... That's
      "What?" said Marsha, disbelieving. "You think I'm delivering a bomb,
or something?"
      "We can't be too careful," the receptionist replied. "We've received
a few strange packages over the past few years."
      "I think I'll be going now," Marsha said, stepping back.
      "If you could wait until the package has been checked," the
receptionist said, "that would be best."
      "I really think I'll be on my way," Marsha said, turning around, and
heading for the door quickly.
      "No, I don't think so," Marsha heard the receptionist say, and then
there was a clunk. Even from here, she could see something barring the
door, preventing her from escaping.
      Turning back to the receptionist, Marsha said, "Oh, come on now. You
can't be serious."
      There was a ding, and Marsha turned to see a left door opening. Out
came a man in a security uniform, who sauntered up to the reception desk.
"Evelyn, where's this package?"
      "Oh no," whispered Marsha. This couldn't be happening.
      Evelyn held the package up. "Here you are, Terry."
      Marsha kept backing away, wondering where she could go, her eyes
darting around but not seeing anything.
      Terry took the package, turning it over and over in his hands. "Looks
harmless enough, but I'll check it out. Where's the person who delivered
      "Over there," Evelyn replied, pointing at Marsha.
      Terry turned to Marsha, and his eyes widened. "You!"
      "This is just a co-incidence," Marsha said, holding her hands up
      "You know her?" Evelyn asked.
      "She's a freak!" Terry said. "I came across her on the beach this
morning. She's been planning this to get back at me!"
      "Look, this has nothing to do with you," Marsha said. "Just let me
go, and we'll say no more about this."
      "You're not going anywhere," Terry replied, striding over to her. "I
think it'll be best if we have you in custody while we get this
      "No, I think not," said Marsha. Just before Terry could reach her,
Marsha turned and ran for the door. When she reached it, she didn't stop,
but collided straight into the door, which didn't really hurt her.
      Clearly the door didn't open, nor did it open after Marsha gave it a
good shaking. There was a bar across the door, but Marsha couldn't see any
way to open it from here.
      Spinning around, she saw Terry walking towards her, not in any hurry
as he knew she couldn't get out.
      "If you keep me here, that's kidnapping," Marsha said.
      "And this is sabotage," Terry said, holding the package up.
      "I have no idea what's in that."
      "Then let's take a look, shall we?" Terry replied, obviously
expecting Marsha to protest. When she didn't, that caused Terry to pause
suspiciously, but he decided to open the package anyway.
      Marsha stood there, shaking her head. Whatever it was, it obviously
wasn't a bomb, so there was no point to all these dramatics. Still, she
eyed the package with a degree of curiosity.
      Once the wrapping was off, they saw that it was merely a novelty
bottle opener. Puzzled, they both stared at it for a moment.
      Marsha considered a large number of possible responses, but decided
to go straight. "So, can I go now?"
      Terry looked from the bottle opener to Marsha. "You're still a
freak," he hissed at her. "And you deserve to be locked away."
      "You do that, and I know several lawyers that would have a field day
with it," Marsha said, staring at Terry without a hint of fear. "You've
got nothing to hold over me, so either let me go, or face the
      Terry glared at her, but had to admit she was right. Turning to
Evelyn, he called, "All right, let her go."
      Marsha waited a little impatiently while Evelyn pushed the button,
and the bar locking the door retracted. "Right, I'll be going now, shall
      "I'll be making a full report about this," Terry warned.
      "Go ahead," said Marsha. "There's nothing about that," she said,
indicating the bottle opener, "to cause me any problems."
      Under Terry's glare, Marsha pushed the door open and gratefully
escaped to the outside. As she walked away, she wondered what the hell all
that was about? Who would send Frolicks Inc a bottle opener? It didn't
make sense.
      Perhaps it was all a practical joke. Perhaps one played on her by
Tabitha? Would she go that far just to put one over on Marsha?
      Bah. Of course not. She was just feeling rattled about seeing Terry.
Marsha shivered. Nasty piece of work. Marsha considered putting through
legal proceedings to get Terry fired...but it just wasn't worth it. And
that would mean seeing her lawyer again. Which caused her to shiver again.
      Why did this keep happening to her?
      Shoving her hands in her pockets, Marsha set about putting as much
distance as possible between her and Frolicks Inc, which meant that she
was a block away when the explosion occurred.


The explosion was centered on Frolicks Inc. The investigators would
determine that it was a bomb, extremely powerful and tiny, set off by a
circuit detonator. One investigator suggested that it was a bottle opener,
which was set off when it came into contact with a bottle lid, but this
was dismissed, and the specifics of the bomb was left as undetermined.
      A recent package had been delivered to the headquarters, as evidenced
by a report submitted to a courier company. The package was a bottle
opener (which vindicated the previous inspector's claim), and the report
contained a description of the person who had delivered the package, as
well as several remarks by the receiving security officer as to the
unbalanced mental state and dubious quality of said delivery person.
      The report was examined with great interest, and police were advised
to be on the lookout for an African-American woman of medium height, aged
near 30, and wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
      A cordon was quickly thrown up to cover plane, train and bus
departures, and main roads were blockaded by the police.
      They could only hope to be lucky, but the description was widely
circulated, and they expected quick results.


Marsha ducked into an alleyway. Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. She watched
as a police car rolled past. Fortunately, she was out of sight to them, so
she had earned herself another reprieve.
      She had a few close calls over the past hour, had seen other women
being questioned. Obviously she was getting blamed for the explosion. And,
to be honest, there was a part of her that was responsible.
      On the other hand, it should have been that bitch Tabitha who was
getting the blame. Although Marsha couldn't really blame her either, as
both of them were just the messengers.
      The only break she had at the moment was that her name hadn't been
mentioned. No-one why it should, no-one knew she was there. And now she
needed to get away.
      Yes, there was one obvious way of disappearing, but Marsha did want
to show some initiative at getting herself out of a jam before going to
that extreme. All she really needed right now was a change of clothes, and
then pretending to be completely innocent.
      Part One of the plan was in sight, namely the Gap store across the
street. Popping her head out, Marsha checked to make sure the way was
clear of police, then strode confidently out. She knew that looking
assured was the main key to getting away with anything, and put her other
non-existent acting skills into practice as she waited at the lights.
      Fear, guilt and anger built up in equal proportions as she waited.
What was taking these lights so damn long? It felt like everyone was
looking at her as she waited, although she wasn't able to catch anyone
looking at her directly.
      Finally the buzzer sounded, and Marsha crossed the street. Right,
three stores to pass and she would be inside. Actually, in some ways this
was quite exciting. Another flash of guilt went through her over the fact
that she had felt some pleasure after the deaths of others, but
nonetheless it was there.
      The store before the Gap was an electronics store, and they had TVs
in their front window, sound just loud enough for people to hear as they
passed outside. As Marsha passed, her eyes were drawn to the screens...
      "...recent information from the courier company has provided more
information on the woman responsible for delivering the bomb. They claim
that she substituted the bomb for their own package, after waylaying one
of their employees, one Tabitha Vaughn. According to her testimony, the
woman has been identified as one of the members of the superhero group
called the Alt.Riders, who were recently jailed for the attempted
assassination of the present. This is footage from a battle the Alt.Riders
were involved in, and, as you can see, this woman matches the descriptions
of the woman at the bombing. She known as Dva, and should be considered
hostile. If you see her, please do not attempt to stop her yourself, but
alert the authorities at your first available convenience..."
      Marsha blinked, unable to credit this change in her situation. Why
had Tabitha turned her in? What was this crap about her assailing Tabitha?
More like the other way around. Gods, she was probably covering her ass,
trying to blame Marsha before Marsha could blame her...
      Marsha slowly became aware of the others around her on the sidewalk.
Moreover, she slowly became aware of the fact that they were all staring
either at her, or at the screen, or going from one to the other. Any
second now-
      "Her! It's her! The bomber! Police! Police!"
      Marsha turned and started sprinting, pushing passed people fool
enough to stand in her way. Quickly she left the yelling behind, but knew
it would be moments before more people recognised her.
      Skidding to something approaching a halt, Marsha turned and ducked
into the nearest store and found herself inside a sport and fishing store.
Racks of guns, hunting clothes, fishing lines and waders stretched out
before her. At the sight of the weaponry, Marsha knew that this day was
just getting worse. No-one would believe this was accidental.
      Marsha dashed through the store, trying to find the back of the store
and thereby another exit. However, the store just kept on going. What was
this place? Hunting heaven?
      Finally a wall loomed up, but there was no sign of any doors in it.
She tried following the wall along, but could easily see that this was
going no-where.
      "Dva, this is the police," suddenly sounded. From the distortion,
Marsha could tell it was a megaphone used near the front of the store.
"Come out, and nothing will happen to you. There is no need for violence."
Marsha sincerely hoped the police would believe that, but doubted it.
      Finally, she spotted a window high up on the wall, which she could
get to by climbing the shelves. Without pausing, Marsha started up, but
the going was slow as she had to knock several items out of the way in
order to find where to grasp or place her feet. Which meant she was a
perfect target.
      "Dva, we have you surrounded. Give yourself up."
      "There she is!" That last wasn't through a megaphone, and Marsha
looked over her shoulder to see a police officer pointing at her. Yep,
really big obvious target.
      "You can't escape!" another officer shouted.
      A bullet thudded into the shelf next to her, then another officer
shouted, "Stop, or we fire!" Yeah, like that was going to happen.
      Another shelf, and then she was in reach of the window. A simple push
opened it up, but it was very small. Marsha could squeeze through, but it
would take time.
      Looking down, she saw police officers ringed around her position. And
probably by now there were others on the outside anyway.

                   %What I Did On My Holidays%
                     %Cry for the Fire%

%That band is amazing,% Kula Bocca repeated, as he had said so often over
the past few days. %To think that...%
      Missy wasn't so convinced. Yes, The Big Bubble had given an anthem,
%Cry for the Fire%, to the Zinkenite movement, but that might just make
the movement more prone to rash actions. Nothing like a song to stir up
      %With this, we can at last properly organise our people, demand our
own nation from the Chubs. But we can't move too quickly.% Missy looked at
Kula in surprise. This was the first sign she had seen of not blasting
ahead full steam.
      %We'll arrange some more rallies,% Kula said, speaking half to
himself. %Get the song out to the public. Make sure all get to hear it.%
      %Do you want me to speak to the Chubs?% Missy asked. %Maybe they will
listen to me.%
      Kula shook his head. %No, we will do this on our own. You helped us
the first time around, but this time we will make our own stand.%
      %But that will only-% Missy broke off, clutching her stomach. Kula
dashed to her side, helping her to sit down.
      %Will you be all right?%
      %This is my first birth,% Missy said. %I'm not exactly sure what to
expect, and it is going to be abnormal anyway.%
      %Should I fetch a doctor?%
      Missy shook her head. %I know everything I need to know. I can do
this by myself.%
      %And yet you don't want us to do this by ourselves,% Kula replied,
with a smile on his lips.
      %I'm not trying to change society,% Missy replied.
      %Not this time around,% Kula said, to which Missy didn't have an
answer. %If you're fine, I have some arrangements to make. I'll check back
in later?%
      Missy nodded, and watched Kula leave. Missy lay back, closing her
eyes. It was unfortunate that the Zinkenite movement had occurred right
when she was pregnant, but she hadn't known that when she came back.
      As she rested, the song echoes in her mind again. %Cry for the fire
you love% Simple lyrics, but evocative. And then %Bakula beka, kabelaboola
kebo%, the language Mohelmot, original language of the Moles. She had
heard it before when she first encountered the Moles, but hadn't had time
to learn it...
      When Kula returned a few hours later, he saw that Missy was asleep.
He pulled a blanket over her, but let her sleep on. She was a great
symbol, one he could use, but it was best she didn't know his full plans.
      And so when Missy awoke, she only heard that another rally was
planned, for two days from now, when the Big Bubble would play again.
      During that time, Missy did make contacts with the Chubs. At first,
they didn't believe that she was back after vanishing sixty years ago, but
finally they did. Not that it really mattered, as they had no interest in
listening to what she had to say. They were in power now, not her, and
certainly not the Moles. Nothing the Moles did would change that. Let them
have their rallies, it would do no harm.
      Thus it was with a sense of frustration that Missy sat at yet another
rally, at Casema, as Kula Bocca spoke.
      %Friends, we know why we are here! For too long have the Chubs ruled,
refusing to listen to us, barely even acknowledging us! No longer can we
accept this, no longer can we work for them. We must strike out on our
own, we must make our own way!%
      %One Mole! One Nation!% the crowd was ahead of him, already chanting
their slogan.
      %That's right my friends! One Mole! One Nation! And we must make this
dream a reality, no matter what the cost!%
      Missy closed her eyes. It was already too late.
      %And now, fellow Moles, we come to what I'm sure many of you have
heard of, but not all of you have actually heard for yourselves. Fellow
Moles, I present to you The Big Bubble!%
      The band came out more quickly than last time, fired up over what
they knew would be an excellent performance. Ramsey went to the
microphone, but no-one did anything. The audience slowly quietened down,
waiting for something, anything to happen. Eventually there was nothing
but silence.
      The cry Ramsey gave rang out in the night, echoing through their
souls. %Cry for the Fire% started, everyone listening raptly. Missy saw
some people mouthing along, the song already taking hold.
      When the Mohelmot section started, the audience started cheering! The
ultimate rebellion, speaking the forbidden tongue, taking back what was
      Missy was nearly sent flying as someone brushed past her. Large blue
bodies raced onto the stage, and suddenly there was screaming and fighting
as Chubs erupted into the area.
      Missy stared, confused, as cries of %One Mole! One Nation!% when out,
along with %Cry for the Fire!%. However, there were far more Chubs than
Moles, and all too soon any disruption was quelled.
      %Listen to me!% a Chub said, speaking into the microphone. %Listen to
me. This Mole,% he said, pointing at Ramsey, %has broken the law. He has
spoken a language that has been forbidden...% An uproar sounded at this,
the Chub ignored it and continued, %has been forbidden by the ruling
power. He will be held for such time as we deem necessary.%
      Amidst howls of anger and outrage, the Chubs left the area, taking
Ramsey with them. As it was more a sign of power than anything else, the
rest of them, including Kula Bocca and Missy, were left alone. For now.
      %Kula,% Missy said, %I don't like this.%
      Kula was watching the audience, and he turned to Missy, his eyes
bright. %This is it,% he said. %They've made a big mistake. The people
will rise now. Ramsey will be a living symbol of the Chubs' oppression.%
      %Kula...% Missy said slowly, realising too late the depths of Kula's
passion. %Did you arrange this?%
      %Missy,% Kula said, listening only to his own inner cheers. %Now we
will have our way!%

NEXT ISSUE: A nice quiet holiday is what we need. No noise, no sound.

CREDITS: All mine.

NOTES: I decided Footnote Lass won't be involved in any of these issues,
but if you are wondering about Tabitha Vaughn, I suggest you check out
_World Tales Annual #1_ for the details of Marsha's past life.

Jamas Enright
"Answers answered and questions questioned."
Homepage: http://www.eyrie.org/~thad/
Blue Light Productions homepage: http://www.eyrie.org/~thad/blip/

"If a great state has decided by law that twice two is five, it would be
foolish to allow mathematicians to testify." - Comment during the Scopes
Monkey Trial.

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