LNH/ACRA: The Alt.Riders #37

Jamas Enright thad at eyrie.org
Thu Jun 16 12:59:00 PDT 2005

Blue Light Productions presents:

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| #37  |   |   |  | |  |   |   | |   |     |  \ | |  | |  | |    |___
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    [The postcard shows the Grand Char.yon. The text reads "Wish I wasn't
                            here, Rick"]
                    "What I Did On My Holidays"
                         "Bend Me, Shape Me"

The condor soared over the canyons far below, catching air currents,
riding thermal variations. Flapping its wings once, it pushed upwards, the
air barely rippling its feathers. Letting out a cry, it announced to the
world that it was here, and it was, basically, enjoying the hell out of

The gun rotated on its mount, the computer automatically correcting for
position, movement, air friction, probable flight trajectories, and other
     A finger hovered over a button, waiting for the right moment. Flight
paths converged and diverged on the computer screen, adapting to the
flight of the condor far above. Really, there was little luck involved
now, science having reached peaks in warfare unprecedented in the history
of killing.
     One press, and the gun would fire over a hundred rounds in a matter
of seconds, covering all possible flight paths, leaving no room for
     Some might consider this overkill, but there would be no chances

The condor flapped its wings again, calling out to the sky and beyond. It
circled lazily in the air, nothing on its mind other than the sheer joy of
flight. It was not hungry, had no need to mate, was beyond the need for a
nest, leaving no other drives to motivate it.
     Except the pleasure of flying.

Trajectories converged again, as computer models predicted likely
behaviours. Cross hairs targeted the condor, and turned red as optimum
moments of firing appeared.
     The cross hairs were a continual red now for five seconds, and then
the finger pushed the button.

The condor had only a few seconds as the rounds flew through the air,
fighting against gravity and relative frames of references. However, the
condor did nothing in this time as it knew nothing of the danger heading
its way.
     Within moments, the rounds, specially treated darts, peppered its
body, converting it from a condor into a flying pincushion.
     Aerodynamics fled, leaving the condor as nothing more than an
unconscious bullet plummeting towards the canyon far below...


Rick woke only briefly to begin with. He barely had time to flutter his
eyelids before falling into blackness again.

The second time, he managed a "whur", opened his eyes long enough to sense
something white, then collapsed again.

The third time was more successful. Opening his eyes, Rick made out a
white room, and realised he was lying in a bed. Needles fed into his arm,
and...yes, there was a catheter.
     So, a hospital. Or something close to it.
     Thinking back, Rick remembered nothing to begin with, then slowly
memories of being in the air came back. He had been flying, in the form of
a condor, then...nothing. Whatever had happened to him to bring him here
wasn't a memory he had.
     It was possible that where he was was somewhere safe, but he doubted
it. He had been out in the Grand Char.yon, far from any signs of
civilisation. If he had been taken somewhere, it was by whoever had taken
him out as a condor.
     And what the hell was it about him being a bird and him getting hit
by something? Was this morph-bird season or something?
     Angrily he sat up straight, was overcome by dizziness, and fell
unconscious again.

When he woke for the fourth time, there was someone standing over him. The
white coat gave away the profession, as well as the fact they were
fiddling with his tubes. At least, he hoped they were fiddling with a
purpose, he wouldn't want them to get confused and change them around.
     They also had their head covered with a mask and hair cap, so Rick
couldn't even tell if it was a woman or a man (the white coat wasn't at
all flattering).
     He could also hear a radio in the background, which he could make out
if he strained his ears ("investigation continues into the bomb that
exploded in San Fr...") but it was too much of an effort to continue.
     "He...hello?" Rick said, gasping as he realised his throat was raw.
     The figure jumped slightly, then reached for a nearby cup of water,
and held it to Rick's lips so he could sip at it.
     Rick coughed, then tried again. "Hello?"
     "Don't try to talk," the figure said in a high pitched voice. Ah, a
woman then, although that wasn't 100% guaranteed. "You've been unconscious
for a long time."
     Rick tried to sit up, carefully this time, and with help, and made it
to a more upright position.
     "Where am I?"
     "Shush," the woman replied, turning back to the tubes to give them a
final check. "Now you're awake, someone will be in shortly to talk to
     Rick didn't like the sound of that, so decided to get moving.
Retracting his arms, he... Retracting his arms... Retracting... Nothing
happened, his arms remaining exactly as they were.
     The woman saw Rick's expression. "You've been treated with a
morpholitic inhibitor," she said. "You won't be able to shapeshift for a
while. Interestingly, you seem to revert to this body form, and not, for
example, a pile of goo."
     "It's the one I've held most consistently," Rick replied, feeling
oddly claustrophobic for some reason. "It's a kind of default template."
     "Huh. Interesting. As I said, someone will be along to see you
shortly." The woman left the tubes, and walked over to a door Rick now
noticed. What he could see beyond looked like a normal corridor,
possessing no hints as to where he was. The sounds of the radio
disappeared with the woman.
     Rick took the rest of the room in. Lighted panels filled the ceiling,
hopefully fitted with an off switch. Floor looked normal concrete. Walls
contained, in order, a door, nothing, a large mirror, most likely two-way
through which he was likely being watched, and nothing again.
     The bed, the tubes, and a small cabinet where the only items in the
room. Very Spartan, basically, and absolutely no signs saying "The Bad
Guys today are..." Very inconsiderate of them.
     Moving slowly and very carefully, Rick pulled the sheet back to see
that he was dressed in typical hospital smock (not part of his body - the
sensation of clothes was a little disturbing). Rick swung his legs out
over the side of the bed, and gingerly set his feet down on the cold
     He was wondering what to do about the catheter when the door opened
again, and a new figure entered, this time obviously a man, small,
balding, glasses, and with long white coat.
     Seeing Rick in his half-off-the-bed position, the man quickly hurried
over. "I wouldn't, if I were you," he advised, pushing Rick back onto the
bed, tucking his legs in and pulling the sheet up. "It's best if you
     "Cooperate with whom? Who are you people?"
     The man considered various answers. "Well, I could say that we found
your body and are trying to help you, or I could say that we're really
here for your own good, but ultimately I think it's easier to tell the
truth. We want to study you, take you apart, see what makes you tick."
     Rick stared at the man, more than a little flabbergasted. "What, of
any of that, makes you think I would in any way want to even slightly help
     "The pursuit of science?" the man tried. Rick just shook his head.
"Good of mankind? No? Oh, very well, we're just nasty people and want to
be able to create our own shapeshifters before we kill you."
     "Ah. So I am definitely going to be killed then?"
     "Yes. That was the original instruction. We've done some creative
interpretation with the whole 'analyse you first' bit, but we could hardly
be expected to let this opportunity go to waste now, could we?"
     "As I'm sure you could imagine," Rick said, in as dry a manner as he
could, "I might have alternative feelings on that"
     "Ah, yes, I'm sure you do, but we don't care." The man shrugged. "We
are, as I said, being the bad guys in this arrangement, so we're hardly
going to be bothered by any of your feelings."
     Rick paused over this. "I have to say that it is rather refreshing to
get such honesty in these dealings. All too often, there are lies, facts
to be uncovered, so on and so forth, so I do appreciate the time your
saving just coming right out with it."
     The man smiled. "Well, yes, we find it's so much quicker in the long
run if we just get our agenda out in the open and then pursue it with all
due rapidity."
     Rick nodded. "Quite, quite. Of course, you know that I'll be breaking
free of this as soon as I can, then I might be forced to do something
unpleasant like killing you all."
     "Oh, yes, quite so, quite so. On the other hand," the man continued.
"We are holding all the cards at the moment, as you can tell, so you'll
forgive me for being rather skeptical of that outcome."
     "Well, we'll just have to wait and see, won't we?"
     "Indeed. Now, we aren't quite ready for you yet, so if you don't
     Before Rick had a chance to give any opinion in the manner, the man
pulled out a gun and shot Rick with another dart. Moments later,
unconsciousness claimed him yet again.


"Are we ready yet?" the voice came over the intercom.
     The man, one Doctor Herbert Engley, who had been the one talking with
Rick, looked up at the observation port. "Nearly there," he said. "I have
to draw a larger sample, but need to ensure the patient isn't unduly
     "The patient's needs are not our concern," the voice came back. "Just
cut off his foot, and use that to sample. It's as good as the rest of
     "Ah, well, there, you see, that's not entirely true. We have to take
into account the fact that we have him on isomorphine to stop him
shape-shifting. As such, that impacts on his base structure, and so to get
a representative sample, we can't simply 'cut off his foot', we have to
ensure that the sample is drawn from a more homogeneous area."
     "Doctor, this is simply wasting time," the voice replied, entirely
unbothered by such scientific concepts as 'untainted sample'. 'Simply
extract the necessary sample, and give us the results."
     Doctor Engley nodded vigorously, like his head was on a spring.
"Right away, but we must be sure-"
     "Now, Doctor!"
     Doctor Engley sighed. No-one cared about due scientific progress any
more. Simply hack and be done with it. Really, he should let Rick escape,
just to make a point. (Not that he would, of course. He was being paid far
too much to let anything like properly moralistic attitudes get in the
     Turning to Rick's body, he and another nurse that had arrived to
helped lifted Rick and turned him over onto his front. Then he pulled the
sheet back, revealing Rick's back. The nurse retrieved a tray of
instruments as the Doctor prepped the area at the top of his spinal cord,
and when that was ready, the Doctor reached for the fist scalpel to begin
the procedure.
     Touching the scalpel to Rick's back brought on an immediate reaction
of Rick waking up and arcing his back in agony, screaming at the same
time. Doctor Engley hurriedly moved the scalpel away before Rick could be
hurt, but was put out more than concerned by Rick's consciousness.
     "Nurse, make sure the patient is secure," Doctor Engley ordered, in
an almost bored tone.
     The nurse hurried to obey, and it was because of Rick's surprise that
she was able to get Rick strapped down before he was able to move away.
"Patient is secure, sir."
     "What? What are you doing to me?" Rick yelled, his voice slightly
muffled by the pillow.
     "Now's not the time to get upset," Doctor Engley said in as soothing
a voice as he could manage. "We're going to have to operate, and,
unfortunately, you happen to be awake. Another injection might have an
undue effect, so unfortunately no more sedation for you. Please just
relax, and we'll try to get this over with as soon as possible."
     "Relax?" Rick yelled. "You're going to cut me open! What the hell do
you think you're doing?"
     "Nurse, please silence the patient." The nurse moved to Rick's head
and attempted to put tape over Rick's mouth, but he wasn't giving in so
easily. It wasn't until Doctor Engley held Rick's head still that the
nurse was able to silence Rick.
     "Ah, that's better," said the Doctor. "Now, where were we?" The nurse
held out another scalpel for him. "Ah, that's right. Thank you nurse."
     Reaching over, the Doctor placed the scalpel at Rick's back again,
and pressed down. Rick tired to move, but he was too securely fixed to the
bed. The scalpel bit down into his body, and a light red ooze seeped up
past the blade.
     "As you can see," Doctor Engley observed, "the patient does not have
human blood. We have analysed small samples of it already, but have yet to
determine any particular genetic structure. This is not too surprising, as
the subject is a shapeshifter, and so can be expected to have alien
structure." Drawing the scalpel down, the Doctor cut a line down Rick's
back. "What we hope to do today is find some form of internal organs, and
remove one for analysis."
     Once the cut was long enough, the nurse handed the Doctor some
forceps, which he used to hold the wound open. Briefly checking to make
sure the glove was tight on his hand, Doctor Engley thrust his hand inside
Rick's body.
     Rick screamed again at this invasion, and tried once again to thrash
about, but was no more successful this time as before.
     Doctor Engley moved his hand around, this way and that, attempting to
find some solid, or semi-solid, matter inside Rick's body. To his
annoyance, he couldn't find anything, but wasn't totally surprised by
this. All of Rick's body seemed to act as a body in miniature, the
nutrients they were pumping into him were processed just as effectively by
the "blood" in his arm as any other part of him. There might be some sort
of meta-morphic template driving his current appearance, but that
structure didn't hold below the surface level.
     The Doctor withdrew his hand with a sigh, and shook his head in
     "What's happening, Doctor?" the voice from beyond asked.
     "It appears there are no internal organs," Doctor Engley reported.
"We suspected that this indeed might be the case, certainly our x-rays
didn't turn up anything useful, but I had hoped..."
     "We should move straight to containment then," the voice replied.
     "Please, give me some more time!" Doctor Engley pleaded. "I can
devise other tests to run. Perhaps Rick himself might be able to suggest
something to help analyse-"
     Before Rick could protest this idea, the voice cut across all further
discussion. "The matter is settled, Doctor. Move him into containment."


Rick fought against the pain to some sense of control. His back had healed
easily enough from the scalpel wound, but the drugs in his system screwed
him up.
     The room he was in was different to the previous one. He was still in
a bed, but there were no tubes. Nor was there an observation window, just
a door.
     With an effort, Rick managed to sit up, although he had to pause as
the room whirled around him. Swallowing down the urge to be sick, Rick
swung himself around and placed his feet on the floor. He waited there,
partially because he couldn't move any further at the moment, but no-one
came into the room to admonish him.
     Pushing himself off the bed, Rick stood.
     Then he collapsed.
     Lying on the floor, the coolness of the concrete helped soothe his
body, and he relaxed into the sensation for a moment.
     It was then he realised that relaxing his body had caused something
else to happen. Pulling his arm up from the floor, he saw that it had
spread out a little, looking wider and thinner than normal. In essence, he
had shapeshifted.
     Fighting harder against the nausea, Rick curled himself up and
shifted himself into something easy, like a ball. However, he obviously
wasn't in full control of his body yet, as all he managed to do was make
his skin merge slightly, and turn faintly pink, but otherwise remain the
body of a curled up human.
     Concentrating, Rick returned to his normal form, then changed
tactics. Keeping his shape, he changed his outer shell from human skin
into leather, and then steel.
     That he could do, although he had to make the steel extremely thin
and light so that he could stand up under his own strength. But it was a
     Letting his body return to skin (it was the easiest form, required no
concentration), Rick staggered over to the door, pausing to rest against
it when he arrived.
     To his lack of surprise, the door didn't open as he turned the knob.
Fine, he'd do it the hard way. Closing his fist, Rick changed as much of
it into steel as he could managed, pulled back, and then punched the knob
     The entire knob assembly shot from the door and smacked into the
other side of the corridor. Damn. That would alert someone. Quickly, he
pulled the door open, and teetered out into the corridor.
     And had absolutely no idea where to go. There were no obvious signs
saying exit, so he chose a direction and started moving as best he could.
     The direction he chose led to T-junction, and neither choice looked
particularly inspiring. Realising that he could be at this all day, he
needed a new tactic. However, while he thought of it, it wouldn't harm to
put a few more twists and turns between where he had been and where he
     Certainly after several more bends, Rick was completely lost, so it
was unlikely anyone else looking for him would find him any more easily,
but also he was starting to feel better. Obviously the movement helped to
flush the drugs.
     And, more than that, he was starting to get a few ideas about how to
get out of here. First, find somewhere a little quieter. Trying a few
doors at random, he found one that opened, and, better still, was empty.
     Walking over to the middle of the room, Rick concentrated, staring
upwards. He started to grow, and quickly his head was up at the ceiling.
Raising his hand, instead of going for a steel ball, he transformed in
into a slim diamond, which started rotating at high speed.
     Using the newly created drill, Rick created a hole in the ceiling,
and through to the floor above. He managed to change his finger from a
drill into another eye, and saw that the room was empty.
     However, when he tried to push himself through the hole, he found
that that was a bit beyond him at the moment.
     Changing his finger back into the diamond drill, he changed it
further into a diamond edge jigsaw, and outlined a section of ceiling,
which promptly fell downwards. It was then Rick realised that it would be
best not to be underneath it, and barely got out from its descent path in
     Once that was done, it was far easier to make his way up a level.
     It was also easy to collapse, and lay panting on the floor. Even
something as simple as that had wiped a lot out from him, and Rick
wondered just how far up he would have to go.
     Knowing that his options were limited (namely, getting captured again
and dissected), Rick had no choice but to gather his remaining strength
and try again.
     The floor above proved to be another empty room. Great. At least he
wasn't panting as badly now, but the sweat was a sign that his body was
being pushed to the limit. Normally he didn't sweat, as heat could be
easily dissipated through his entire 'skin', but when he was in trouble,
his body tended to revert to more normal human norms, of which one was
sweating during exertion, or illness. Of which he was in the grip of both.
     He was just fortunate that so far no-one had discovered any of the
rooms he had broken into.
     Reaching up, he drilled again, this time lasting longer than previous
attempts, and when he broke through he could already feel something
different about the other side. Creating an eye, he stared up into a clear
blue sky. This was it! He was out and free!
     With renewed energy, Rick quickly cut a hole for himself, and barely
waited for it to drop before he stretched out and pulled himself out.
     Breathing large lungfuls (more or less) of air, Rick stared around.
He was on the top of a large brown building, coloured to match the large
canyon walls that rose around it. He obviously hadn't been taken too far
from where he started. Or he had been taken very far to another facility
in a canyon area.
     Whichever. It didn't really matter. Now, if he could only pull
himself together again to become a bird, he was out of here.


     "Not yet. We need to make sure the isomorphine is out of his system."
     "We have full tracking on him?"
     "Yes. There is absolutely no way he can escape, I absolutely
guarantee it."
     "I don't have any faith in your guarantees."
     "Stop being so negative. Just a little while longer, and then we'll
have him. We just need to maker the drug is out of his system, let him
move around, and make sure his abilities are back..."


Getting down from the building was as simple as making his body into
rubber, and Rick bounced off the ground a few times, making large arcs as
he did so. Eventually his momentum wound down, leaving him within sight of
the building, and without any expeditious transport.
     The best he could do at the moment was turn his feet into roller
blades, and skim along the ground. There was a road here, obviously for
the use of whomever was in the building, but there was no-one on it at the
     Changing his head into a helmet, partly to protect him if he fell,
partly to protect himself against the sun, Rick concentrated on crossing
as much distance as possible. Since he couldn't be sure of where he was,
he followed the road, and decided to leave the problem of what to do if
someone came for him to be dealt with as the issue arose.
     Actually, he was feeling nearly fine, although his shapeshifting
wasn't working quite properly yet, and the feeling of air rushing past him
was quite refreshing. He wouldn't go to any length to say that he was
happy, but there were worse situations to be in that the one he was in
right now. Like where he had been a few hours ago, for example.
     Yes, as long as his luck held, he would get out of this with no
problems at all.


"I tire of this."
     "Yes, fine, okay, send them in. It looks like the drugs are enough
out of his system now."


Rick realised he had invoked Murphy about five seconds before he heard the
car behind him. Dropping from his roller blading self, he morphed his skin
into diamond while he looked around for somewhere to hide.
     Weren't canyons supposed to possess all sorts of little gullies and
crevices? Certainly none were in evidence at the moment, just sheer walls
encompassing the road, dusty ground, and a few boulders...
     A minute later, the car roared up to where Rick had been, and
whooshed past. For about 10 seconds. Then the car skewed to a halt,
spinning slightly as the brakes were violently applied.
     Wheels squealing, the car turned around, and, with slightly more
care, the car returned to Rick's position. The doors opened, and people
carrying large guns got out, as did one woman with some kind of scanning
device she waved in the air. Moments later, more cars turned up, with more
people with guns pouring out.
     After a moment, the woman with the scanner pointed at a particular
rock, and the guns aimed and fired in a smooth movement. The rock, or what
looked like rock, bounced the bullets away, confirming that it wasn't even
slightly rock.
     The rock retaliated by shooting out streams of some hard substance
that slammed into the men and women with guns, sending them flying.
However, not all of them were attacked, and the rest flicked switched on
their guns to some other option.
     Some guns now proved to be flamethrowers, and the rock was cooked.
Others were electric, and the rock was fried. Still others were ice, and
the rock was frozen.
     As happens to any material that is heated then cooled rapidly, the
rock cracked open, with a scream nothing inorganic could produce.
     The cracks continued to riddle the rock, which lost its rockness, and
instead transformed into the shape of a human male.
     "We're ready," the woman with the scanner said into a hand-held
     "Is he in the container?"
     "Get him into the trunk!" the woman ordered, and several others
rushed to grab the half-conscious Rick, and dragged him over to the car.
Opening the truck, they revealed a large plastic container, into which
they bundled Rick, who just barely fit.
     The woman strode over, raised another injector, and injected Rick's
body at several places.
     Rick raised a hand, and grew horrified as it started to melt and drip
like taffy. "What are you doing..." his voice slurred off as his head
turned runny, and then his body sloshed into the container.


Doctor Engley supervised the procedure, making sure everything was in
order. The polymorphine was a success, Morph had lost control of his
shapeshifting ability, losing even his basic body shape.
     Now there was a line of people who were coming up to the car trunk
with little pails. They scooped out some of Morph's body, and sealed the
pail, heading inside to different areas. Soon he would be separated into a
hundred different pieces and locations.

Rick felt his consciousness fading. He wasn't sure how he still felt
anything at all, but could sense his surroundings, the large plastic
     Another pail dipped, taking away part of himself, and his
consciousness dimmed.
     One pail at a time, he was whittled away into nothingness...

                    %What I Did On My Holidays%
                         %The Big Bubble%

Missy peeked out through the curtain, and saw that the stadium was filling
fast. Mostly Moles or crosses, but here and there were a few pockets of
Chubs. She was glad to see that society hadn't completely come apart at
the seams, but this event could be the start of a new rip.
     Although the Moles and Chubs had blended together, producing
'cross'es there was still unrest between them. A new movement had arisen,
the Zinkenite movement, a voice for the Moles against the Chubs who still
retained power.
     One leader was Kula Bocca, who Missy had now joined with. She wanted
to see what had happened to her culture, and this was one of the best ways
to get in where the changes were really happening. And maybe, just maybe,
she might be able to influence events so that it didn't erupt into
violence like the last time the two races came into conflict.
     And today wasn't going to help. Kula Bocca had organised a rally, in
a stadium at Elmwurst. Zinkenites from all over had come, to listen to
what Kula Bocca had to say, and to organise a response.
     As Missy turned away from the audience, she met Kula Bocca coming
towards her, followed by four people whom were all dressed up in white
tuxedos, looking more than a little uncomfortable. %Missy, I have some
people for you to meet,% Kula said.
     Missy looked at the four newcomers, recognising them as Moles and
crosses. %This is Ramsey,% Kula said, and one of the Moles shuffled
forward, and they bowed to each other in greeting. This was repeated with
the others, Paul, Alex and Frank. Together, they were the band The Big
     %Very nice to meet you,% Ramsey said, with a nasal twine in his
voice. Missy hoped it wasn't so obvious when they sang. %Um, er, we need
to go set up,% he said, and the band hesitantly moved away.
     %They're playing here?% Missy asked.
     Kula nodded. %A little inexperienced, but they are quite popular.
They had a hit single %The Big Bubble%, and got stuck with that as their
band name. They've got a new track for the rally, but they're young and
willing, so I'll give them a chance.%
     %Are you really sure this is a good idea?% Missy asked.
     Kula shrugged. %It'll give them exposure-%
     %No, I mean the rally. Is this really the way to get your message
     %People need to hear us, need to know we aren't going away,% Kula
said, although this was an argument they had had before. %We won't be
governed by the Chubs anymore.% Interestingly, Kula regarded Missy as The
Scientist first, and then as a Chub.
     %This could end up in violence,% Missy said. %I've seen it before...%
     Kula shook his head. %We won't be the ones to turn this nasty. But if
the Chubs want a fight, we'll give them one.%
     Kula paused to look out at the stadium. %We've got enough people
here. We should start now.%
     Missy nodded as Kula left her. Waddling more than she usually did,
she made her way to a chair in the wings, out of sight of the audience but
positioned so she could see everything that went on. Kula would join her
after his speech.
     Missy sat down with a sigh, putting a hand protectively over her
stomach. Her pregnancy was far along, only another few weeks to go. She
wasn't entirely sure what was going to happen when the baby was due, as
her conception wasn't normal by any measure, but she was looking forward
to when the baby was born. She would be able to teach it so much. With
luck, it would have her passion for science.
     And she really should start thinking of a name...
     %Friends! Please, settle down! We must make our voices heard as one!%
As the hubbub of talking quietened down, Missy turned her concentration
outwards, as Kula Bocca continued.
     %For years now, the Moles and the Chubs have lived together in peace
and harmony,% he announced, his voice echoing throughout the stadium. %But
still the Chubs hold the power. They seek it out, it is their nature, it
is their way.
     %But their way only allows for their way. When was the last time a
Mole was in a position of power? When was the last time a Mole was allowed
to give orders? Has this ever happened at all?%
     From her vantage point, Missy could see the crowd becoming restless.
They knew Kula's words to be true, and didn't like the situation any more
than he did. She also saw the Chubs in the audience start to look around
extremely nervously.
     %NO! We are the oppressed! We are the downtrodden! We cannot live in
this place, THEY will not let us! We must make our own society, our own
nation, where we can live without the Chubs over us!%
     %Yeah!%s sounded from the crowd.
     %Moles on their own! The way they should be!%
     Now the crowd started chanting %Yeah!%, %Yeah!%, %Yeah!%.
     %Together we can make this happen. Together, it will happen! One
Mole! One Nation!% This quickly became the new chant.
     %To show their support, we have with us,% said Kula, giving the crowd
a chance to settle down a little, but only a little, %a local band, who
have a new song for us. Please, welcome The Big Bubble!%
     Applause erupted as the curtain was raised, revealing the four boys,
one on drums, one on keyboards, two on guitars. Kula quickly moved to the
side to stand beside Missy as they struck up.
     Despite their awkward appearance, they started with Ramsey giving a
long howl, and then:
     %Cry for the fire that's burning somewhere
     %Cry for the fire you love
     %Cry for the fire that's burning somewhere
     %Cry for the fire you love%
     Strong chords kicked in, the song a deep and quite moving piece.
Ramsey's cries haunted the stadium. But then...
     %Bakala bula, bakala keba
     %Bakala koola kaele kaeaba kababa
     %Bakoola keeboo kala%
     Missy was shocked. %That's...%
     %Mohelmot,% Kula breathed.
     %The original language of the Moles,% Missy said.
     %It's been forbidden to be spoken,% Kula said. %I never knew...%
     %Can you understand it?%
     %No,% Kula replied, shaking his head. %But I don't think that
     As the song continued, Missy looked out over the crowd. They were
entranced by this, she could see it on their faces. Mohelmot, spoken
aloud, after so long. It was...it was a sign.
     In one stroke, the band had provided an anthem for their movement.
Now nothing would stop them.

NEXT ISSUE: Sun and surf, what more could you want?

CREDITS: All mine.

NOTES: Unfortunately there are no lyric sheets for The Big Bubble, so the
words here are just vague approximations. Actually, when I started writing
this segment, I wrote about a 40 line recap, but since I was limiting
myself to just 100 words for the Missy pieces, and the rest of the story
was about that, that didn't survive too long.
     By the way, if you can't remember when Rick was last taken out as a
bird, check out _The Alt.Riders #34_.

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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