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Thread: Fit for Life

  1. #1501
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    Re: Fit for Life

    That's a big 10-4 there, Kuli!


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  2. #1502
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Great!

    Nice way to keep me on the edge of my chair!

    Looking forward to it!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Fit for Life

    204
    Late


    Stone -- just a plain surface of dark gray stone, radiating heat. Rigel stared, hardly noticing the charred trees and grasses around the edges.

    "I don't understand", he said softly, questioningly.

    Artur's voice came harsh. "This was a camp. It was almost a village. Slavers came here, with soldiers and servants. They brought women. They were angry at my warriors' victories, so they came to make a place for fighting us, a place closer to the Free People, farther from their homes." He swept put both arms, opening slowly from the middle. "Here Urien made war his way: the earth cracked, and stone flowed like blood. It burned many where they stood, others as they ran. Many escaped, but his followers waited in ambush."

    Anger shook the young king's voice. "He cared not that he slew women. He cared not that many servants were of the Free People. He brought forth flowing rock from the bowels of the depths, and killed." Artur turned to face not Rigel, but Anaph. "You were slow. He has escaped. Drudh, I charge you to pursue him!"

    Anaph bent down to touch the ground right where green met singed grass. The middle finger of his right hand traced the line. After a moment regarding the mark he'd made, the high druid's gaze moved steadily to a spot out on the crusted lava; then he stood.

    "That's where it came from?" Rigel asked.

    Anaph nodded. "Artur, I won't chase him. I have to talk to Eraigh first." He turned to the king. "Track Urien. Warn anyone in his path -- even the slavers. Don't let him do this again." Looking for a moment like the frail boy Snatched from in front of a fitness club called "Fit for Life", he shuddered. But it was strength that turned to the youth he'd chosen as king. "Death like this feeds his power. Keep life away from him." Something dark crossed his face. "Until I'm ready."

    With that, the Druid swept away, leaving the others to stare at the slowly cooling pool of lava.




    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    That was a short, but VERY powerful vignette - a call to arms and quickly - Urien has definitely crossed a line.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Fit for Life

    I'm not quite satisfied with this next one, but I can't figure out what's lacking, so here it comes....

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    205
    A Taste of Home

    "Rye, you're getting my shirt wet", Ryan chided, pushing Rigel back. The latter's crazy grin looked out of place on a face streaked with tears, but Ryan understood.

    "Pizza", Rigel said, shaking his head and laughing. All the weariness from the return journey, all the frustration of not being fast enough to catch Urien, had washed away with those tears of happiness. "I'm gone for a few months, and you reinvent pizza! Just to welcome us back!"

    Ryan shrugged his right shoulder. "Had to re-invent it -- we don't have cows, so there's no proper cheese. We always liked the mushroom Hawaiian, but we didn't even have the right kind of mushrooms till Eraigh snagged some -- they grow great in horse shit! No pineapple, and the Celts just don't get the idea of Canadian bacon...."

    Rigel's laugh shut him up. "Tell me at least it's real tomato paste!"

    "Oh, yes", came the solemn reply. "And real yeast in the pizza dough. But everything else--"

    "Is absolutely wonderful", Rita cut in, "and very strong -- the cheese tastes almost like feta". She held a piece of the "Cavern Pizzeria's" product under her nose and breathed in deep. "Ryan, if you weren't already a lord, I'd tell Rigel to knight you for this! A bit of home.... and a brilliant choice, too."

    "It needs a red beer", Tanner offered. "I--"

    "Ate four pieces already, with King Artur's ale", Austin observed. "You wouldn't leave any for the rest of us if you had a red to go with it." Squire and military commander stared at each other, then laughed.


    Sir Wade Appleway regarded the wedge of food on his plate dubiously. It was his second, and he still hadn't made up his mind about the first. The ale was good, and the bread sticks twisted with herbs in their layers, but this concoction of fruit -- though Lady Rita said tomato was a vegetable -- sauce and meat bits on thin bread topped with whitish-yellow cheese was too odd. The food he'd had traveling with these Snatched had been somewhat strange to him, but this -- an attempt to replicate an old favorite from their home earth, Lord Ryan had said -- was unlike anything he'd ever eaten.

    With a sigh, he lifted the slice. As a diplomat, even if but a messenger, it was his duty to do his best to avoid offending his hosts.





    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  7. #1507
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Who the heck is Sir Wade Appleway?

    Still ... even a Snippet of a Chapter is like getting a slice of "Pizza" from "Home"!

    Thank You!, Buddy!

    Keep Smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  8. #1508
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyanimal View Post
    Who the heck is Sir Wade Appleway?
    LOL

    Review the last few chapters. Hint: think Lost British.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  9. #1509
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    Re: Fit for Life

    He's a messenger, eh? I knew he had to be Lost British.

    Pizza a la new world.
    Nice snippet, indeed.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  10. #1510
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by DonQuixote View Post
    He's a messenger, eh? I knew he had to be Lost British.

    Pizza a la new world.
    Nice snippet, indeed.
    Now we just need Crio to weight in with a cogent comment on the deep significance of the chapter.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  11. #1511
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Pizza, the food that brings everyone together.
    World peace among the humans.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  12. #1512
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Just discovered I'd already written a chapter that went ahead of the one I just posted. Time to make sure I didn't contradict it in the one posted, then contact The Man.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  13. #1513
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Have you figured out your save issue, then?


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  14. #1514
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by DonQuixote View Post
    Have you figured out your save issue, then?
    It was resolved by a malware scan/removal, the action recommended by a tech who's encountered the problem before.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  15. #1515
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    Re: Fit for Life

    I saw your post trying to figure out how to install on PC#2, but I didn't see resolution.
    Glad you got it nailed.

    Have you upgraded to 8.1 yet? I know you installed a 7 shell.
    Just curious.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  16. #1516
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    Re: Fit for Life

    I "upgraded" to 8.1 in order to get Windows Media Player back. And after three days of suffering through it, I went back to the '7 shell'.


    edit: "America's Funniest" is not a good show to nurse one's muse......


    *switching to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas assortment*
    Last edited by Kulindahr; December 15th, 2013 at 08:04 PM.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  17. #1517
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Mannheim is good.
    So's TransSiberian Orchestra.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  18. #1518
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Bump - and a friendly Shout out to Kuli.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  19. #1519
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Need some help...

    anyone know where Austin was last? I presume I left him with Rigel.....

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  20. #1520
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    Re: Fit for Life

    I'd have to go searching. It's been a long time.

    How is your regathering from your copies coming? Far enough along to try and restart the story?


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  21. #1521
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    Re: Fit for Life

    206
    Pins

    The map dominated the entire west wall of Ryan's office. The other walls had windows that looked out on the world beyond the tower soearing above Cavern Hold, but where it had once been possible to watch the setting sun wood covered with paper hid the glass. None of the other Snatched had seen it before. Besides the obvious markers for villages, roads, castles, semaphore towers, and the like, it sported pins with bright red heads.

    Melanie wandered over and touched a pin. Ryan responded to the unanswered question. "Fragaria vescana", he stated softly. "The ones with yellow flags" -- he tapped one, near Melanie's finger -- "are different -- I call them 'f. vescanna fragrans', because the smell is like ten times as powerful. They've got yellow-edged petals, too." He grinned at the questioning faces around him. "Come on, sit -- I'll talk when everyone's here." People took seats, looking at the map and making guesses.

    "From when you said there had to be people here", Crystal recalled when he had explained the map to everyone. The pins showed places where the plants had been reported. "And RIta saw some who'd been Snatched with us." Her gaze wandered the partial circle the pins covered in a scattered fashion. "Okay, why track them? Bored?"

    Rigel laughed. "Ryan, doing science because he's bored? Rye does science in his sleep!"

    "Ah." Rita's soft remark cut through the rest and got their attention. "Lord Swenson, you're looking for those people." Everyone understood she knew she was right.

    "In one", Ryan congratulated. "Look -- the Yankees have been a gift to us, right? and the Lost British, too. But it wouldn't hurt to have more with tech capacity! So: fragaria vescana was developed as a cross between the regular garden strawberry and a wild one, to make it tougher. It couldn't be done by breeding; the two have different numbers oif chromosomes. But it could be done in a lab, and some Scandinavians--"

    "Swedes", Rita amended; Ryan nodded acknowledgment.

    "-- managed it in test tubes. Fun scinece, making new plants -- something no one could do before like the late seventies. So whoever brought them here was at a technological level good enough to put a person on the moon." He let that sink in. "And that means people who can help." His eyes grew... well, not hard, but firmer and more commanding than his friends ever recalled. "That hit me when I saw the newer petals, with those yellow edges. So I started asking everyone who travels to send word of where strawberries are found." He turned to the map, scratching his head with his left hand while his right traced a border around the pins.
    "It isn't as easy as drawing the circle and looking for the middle. The Celts found the berries and carried them on purpose, so this isn't natural spread. But the chiefs have good guesses at when their clans got them, and the Escobars have records. So I adjust for the human transport. Anyway, when I track it, I say them came from" -- he paused momentarily, swinging his right arm in a loop, planting the index finger on the map -- "here. The place some earlier Snatched got dumped, bringing fruit with them."

    The spot was far west and a little south of the Stone, which stood out more clearly on the map than any of the castles or villages. It was a location that brought some sucked-in breath, though only Melanie gasped. "Rye, that's seriously in Foe territory!" Rigel excalimed softly. "And you want to go there?"

    "Better question", RIta chimed in. "You think they're still around?" Survival of Snatched groups was something they'd come to regard as hit-or-miss, and being dropped deep in the lands where the Others dominated sounded like a death sentence. "And next question: how would we get there?"

    "Yeah, us and what army?" Crystal asked.

    Austin spoke up. "Don't need and army", he pronounced. "Air ships -- the British will have them soon." He grinned. "Bomb the Others while we go!"

    Ryan raised an eyebrow. "Are they that far along?" he asked. Rigel shrugged and looked to Rita.

    "Not this year", she responded. "And I'm not sure they would -- they're going to be making observation balloons for their mainland defense, first.

    Rigel nodded agreement to that last. "And they should -- the easier to slaughter Others, the better. On the other hand", he continued, "they did send an ambassador with us, with those sealed messages. Rye, bring us all up to date about things here, and then it's time for a chat with Sir Wade".




    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  22. #1522
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    Re: Fit for Life

    And the saga continues - up up and away in my beautiful balloon?!

    Contemporary technology transplants who can help them leap frog technologies.

    Yes, we're back in the saddle.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  23. #1523
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Aw! New, and Exciting, directions!!

    Way to go, Buddy!

    (And, it's darned well about time. )

    Keep Smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Fit for Life

    I know - I figured he'd be laid up for months with the dual hip surgery and be writing.
    No - he's got to advance his recovery by going out, doing the lawn, visiting the sand bar, and more . . .


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  25. #1525
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    Re: Fit for Life

    I knew that ...

    Just letting him know, with a friendly "jab", how Thrilled I am that he's back to writing.
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Actually on my last trip to the project -- the area right by the parking lot, is all -- the last piece of that little chapter coalesced. I've been playing with it for... well, I worked on it during the FIRST hip replacement!

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  27. #1527
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    Re: Fit for Life

    207
    Needles

    ““... by the grace of God ruler of Lost Britain, Elizabeth Regina, her seal”, finished Sir Wade Appleway. He lowered the page of parchment with its ribbons and seal. Rigel stared at that seal, which had looked to him like wax but hadn’t cracked when Sir Wade had opened it to begin reading. It was made of something flexible, not brittle like wax. He knew Ryan had the same thought about it he had, that it might prove to be useful as a water-proofing material.

    Not that he was going to ask about that; the content of this last of the messages was too important. His thoughts about the seal were just a way of avoiding thinking about what he’d just heard.

    Rita cut into the silence. “In summary: your Queen Elizabeth, through her Bride’s Spokesman, Lord MacNeil, has offered her hand in marriage to our Lord Fitzwin.” Sir Wade nodded.

    She wasn’t about to let Rigel open his mouth with one of his usual protests. “Sir Wade, I thank you. We need to discuss this among ourselves.”

    The Lost Britisher stood and bowed. “Of course, milady. I will leave you all to your efforts.” He actually managed to back out of the room, then followed a page who tugged at his sleeve.

    “Okay Rigel – go ahead, sound off”, Rita said a few seconds after the door had closed.

    He paused and took a deep breath first. “Okay, you’re going to make me talk about it rationally, right? Fine. First, does anyone really expect me to marry someone I’ve never met? Second, doesn’t this sound desperate? We know their politics are kind of tangled, and their queen is a bit short on support, but a total foreigner? Third, it’s all political!” Rigel stopped, closing his eyes and taking another deep breath to stay calm.

    Rita didn’t risk him bursting into a rant. “Of course it’s political”, she agreed. She recognized the look on his face, but so did Ryan.

    “Bud, we’ve talked about how some of us are going to have to marry for political reasons”, Ryan pointed out softly. “You and I are high on that list. Seriously, think about it: for ties to the Lost British, can you think of a better possible marriage?”

    “You’re not the one being asked”, Rigel pointed out. The set of his jaw told his friends he was in stubborn mode. “By someone I’ve never met!” His feet hit the floor and he paced. “Okay, we need good ties to the Lost British – that would be true even if all we wanted from them is Austin’s air ships! But” – his fists clenched and unclenched, hands wandering in the air, as he fought frustration to find words. “There’s no way I’m marrying someone without at least meeting her! And am I supposed to trust someone who wants to marry me when she hasn’t even met me?!”

    Ryan chuckled. “Hey – who’s her ‘Bride’s Spokesman’? Didn’t we just spend a whole lot of time where he could observe you? And you don’t think he reported every last detail? Think about it: you’re a hero, there. You fit in as a sailor, and learned all about their ships. You – well, Anaph, but he’s your man – handed them a whole new sea to sail, with islands that will be free of Others. You showed them weapons that are great for killing Others, too! And you promised horses, real horses, not just those ponies they know are too small for them. Just about every one of their nobles who met you liked and respected you.
    “So when the Queen reads all that, sure, it’s politics – but she also has reports that tell her what you’re like. She’s young, and do you think she would approve of that proposal if she thought she wouldn’t like you?”

    Rigel sighed and sat down again. “So she knows stuff about me – I still don’t know her.” Rita shook her head; every muscle in Rigel’s body said the stubborn was still there. “Okay, we need ties to the Lost British – fine. Well, I met a noble lady I do like, so if we need a marriage to tie us together, I’ll propose marriage to her, not some queen I’ve never seen. So let’s write something flowery and diplomatic like they sent us, and ask Lady Meriel to marry me.”

    Rita repressed a frustrated sigh. His tone dared any of them to disagree. Well, there were other ways to handle a stubborn Rigel. “‘Flowery and diplomatic’”, she quoted. “Let’s start with your titles, then. Ryan, should we put ‘Overlord of the North’ first, or ‘Grand Earl’?” The two grinned at each other, both ignoring and enjoying Rigel’s protest.


    The expression on Sir Wade’s face could have frightened children, Rita thought. His horror at the mention of Rigel sending a message proposing marriage to some noble lady other than the Queen left him speechless, his mouth opening, then closing.

    “Try some tea”, Rita suggested. “If you can swallow, you can probably talk.” She had to stifle laughter at the rapid changes in the nobleman’s expression.

    Finally he sighed. “Indeed.” He lifted his teacup and regarded it meditatively. “Lady DeLuca, it would be a great insult to the Queen, for Lord Fitzwin to propose to another while knowing she is seeking his hand. Yet if that is in truth his desire, a reply to Her Majesty indicating he is honored, but has another in mind, would be appropriate. Yet it would not be so simple: it has long been the case that marriages of nobles, most especially to foreigners, must be approved by the Crown.” He sipped, looked at his cup, then downed it in a gulp. “So Her Majesty would be given an, shall I say ‘interesting’ choice”.

    Rita sighed. “I wondered if things worked that way.” She stared at her own tea, untouched since she’d taken a deep breath and launched this subject with Sir Wade, wishing briefly that if she drank it down, whatever was left in the bottom could actually give guidance. “How about this, then: a response to Her Majesty that expresses Rigel’s preference to know someone before considering marriage, but a letter to Lord MacNeil making known his willingness to marry Lady Meriel, and asking advice in the situation?”

    The Lost British knight nodded approvingly. “Yes, very good. It is an aspect of the duty of the Bride’s Spokesman to hear anything honestly, judge what ought to be passed on, and phrase it appropriately.” He flashed a wan grin. “I would offer to assess your efforts, once drafted, but you seem quite capable. Your Rigel is supremely fortunate to have you in his service.”

    “So why do I have to jab him with needles to make him see sense?” she quipped.


    Rigel leaned back with a sigh. “Okay, Wise Woman, your wisdom wins the day. I don’t like playing politics, but being honest with MacNeil evens things out – and you wrote it better than I would have. So – send it.” He laughed. “I wonder how long it will take to get there?”

    “Make two copies, give them to Scouts, and make it a race”, Ryan suggested playfully. “We can bet on who we think will get there first.”

    Rita looked upward, channeling Tevya from Fiddler on the Roof. “Oh lord”, she intoned. They all laughed. “Seriously, we send it by our best Rider, with a Scout, and an escort. They can sit tight in castles along the way when the weather is bad. The only hard part is the gap between Osvaldo’s southern outpost and Fort Winchester’s watchtowers. But Kevin will be reading these before Christmas, and I predict a reply by early spring.”






    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Am I the only one who thinks this is getting an admixture of Regency romance?

    If not, am I the only one who thinks that's not at all a bad thing?
    ____
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Ah, and the business of uniting this world recommences. Of course, we all know something they, and Rigel particularly, don't.

    Somehow, I suspect Lord MacNeil will have a rather good chuckle at his parchment. As will Her Magesty.

    Well played, Master Scrivener. Well Played.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Our good Criostoir,
    You are well received - we have not much crossed paths as of late - hell it's been a year or better, methinks.

    I agree - the New Great Britainer's are definitely looking to expand the gene pool and fight off those ills that can accompany a closed gene pool over too long a period of time. I think Rigel will make good stud for Her Magesty.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  31. #1531
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks this is getting an admixture of Regency romance?

    If not, am I the only one who thinks that's not at all a bad thing?
    I'd never heard of a Regency romance before this.

    Hmm.


    From the Wikipedia description, I don't think they would have included skinny-dipping off the side of a warship.....
    Last edited by Kulindahr; September 6th, 2014 at 10:02 PM.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Hey, one of our Presidents used to go skinny dipping in the Potomac to cool off back in the day.
    So this is a modern royal romance.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Fit for Life

    I was speaking stylistically. The romance with the hero (in this case heroine) in disguise, the attempted arranged marriage, the resistance because the heroine (in this case hero) is in love with someone else, so (s)he refuses to marry the arranged person...who turns out to be the hero(ine)!
    ____
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Ah yes, the twists and turns and convolutions.

    Do Rigel and Ryan get Boys' nights privileges?!


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Fit for Life

    HA! You guys are cracking me up!

    Excellent chapter Kuli!

    It's thrilling to be back in the world of Rigel and Friends!

    Keep Smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    I was speaking stylistically. The romance with the hero (in this case heroine) in disguise, the attempted arranged marriage, the resistance because the heroine (in this case hero) is in love with someone else, so (s)he refuses to marry the arranged person...who turns out to be the hero(ine)!
    It's that common?

    <sigh>

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    It's that common?

    <sigh>
    You're doing it in a new way (though the disguise isn't for a new reason).

    But it's essentially the plot of You've Got Mail.* Note, however, that it's only ONE SMALL PART of YOUR plot.

    *Hiring her as a children's book seller stands in for the arranged marriage.
    Last edited by Críostóir; September 7th, 2014 at 01:09 PM.
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    You're doing it in a new way (though the disguise isn't for a new reason).

    But it's essentially the plot of You've Got Mail.* Note, however, that it's only ONE SMALL PART of YOUR plot.

    *Hiring her as a children's book seller stands in for the arranged marriage.
    Okay, but I'd hardly call it a romance -- neither Elizabeth/Meriel nor Rigel are actually in love with the other; they just find the other acceptable, both being motivated by "reasons of state".

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Good thing he can hit for both teams, then.

    - - - Updated - - -

    (I know, I know, my mind's in the gutter.)


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Fit for Life

    Well, I thought they were mostly resisting the idea of being in love...that's also a romance trope. In Regency novels, the heroine usually realizes in the last few pages that well, gosh, she's been in love with the hero all along! (I find this tremendously annoying, for some reason, so I don't read Regency romances.) But you've "paid your dues" on that - the characters have had a chance to work together and develop a friendship.

    DonQuixote, I know what you mean. Much as I'm enjoying the story, I'm hungry for a little more queer content. Doesn't have to be Rigel*, for my money, but...

    *His name makes me think of a hungry muppet slug. Can't imagine why.
    ____
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    Re: Fit for Life

    LoL.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

  42. #1542
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Críostóir View Post
    Well, I thought they were mostly resisting the idea of being in love...that's also a romance trope. In Regency novels, the heroine usually realizes in the last few pages that well, gosh, she's been in love with the hero all along! (I find this tremendously annoying, for some reason, so I don't read Regency romances.) But you've "paid your dues" on that - the characters have had a chance to work together and develop a friendship.

    DonQuixote, I know what you mean. Much as I'm enjoying the story, I'm hungry for a little more queer content. Doesn't have to be Rigel*, for my money, but...

    *His name makes me think of a hungry muppet slug. Can't imagine why.
    His name makes me think of a certain--

    Oh, wait; can't say that without giving something away.

    But I'm glad I came and said that; I had the next chapter beginning to form in my mind when Bammer came and insisted he needed to inspect the premises and change the "flavor" at a few points, and when I chased him back in (yes, my hip lets me jog a few steps, so it's convincing) it was all gone. But something in your post brought it back, Crio -- tanks!

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Fit for Life

    *as Kuli whets our appetites*


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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    Re: Fit for Life

    My pleasure, Kuli!
    ____
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    Re: Fit for Life

    208
    Sign


    Rudolfo Montdragón stared at the bloody head before him a moment longer, pondering what it portended. He held no fears about their defenses, but without Don Antonio on his estates, the morale of the men might be a question. Without a Healer – but then, there was the Yankee, Prentiss.

    “Don Julian, stay”, he requested softly. “Guards, take him to the Druid. I wish him to live”, he added firmly. “At least until Don Antonio returns”, he continued softly. Such trash had no place in the domain of his lord, or perhaps even in the land of the living, but that was not his to say. The former Quistador marveled once again that Heaven had sent him to a lord worthy of the service he had to give.

    “You are certain?” he asked. His voice hid the tension that the duelist’s balance on the balls of his feet betrayed.

    Julian, knighted by Ryan as Julian don Fidalgo, trembled as he nodded. “I know what I see, my friend. He is as am I: he saw the Steward and his aide on the stallion, and cursed them, for they were... I will not speak of such things.”

    Montdragón chuckled softly. “Padre Lente de Dios says we must not condemn, lest we be condemned. So he saw them embracing, unclothed, I presume, and perhaps more than embracing, and you saw him seeing them. And you know it was to this he reacted, for you react the same.”

    Don Julian shifted his feet uncomfortably. “I am slow of mind, not of heart, don Rudolfo. It is my flesh, as the Apostle says, which reacts; I give no condemnation. Taunt me not for what years of priests have trained upon me. So, yes – I knew, and knew also that no workman approved to be here would react so.” The master swordsman scratched his brow. “So I watched, and shortly observed what we were told is a sign of los Inquisidores. I sought to seize them both, but the other escaped.”

    Antonio’s military commander nodded. The other would never escape; Julian had promptly ordered signals posted, telling all their people to allow no strangers to leave the domain de la Vega. Perhaps no human would intercept the agent, but there were two Scouts out to the north, who would know of the signals -- and no tool of the Inquisition was trained well enough to avoid one of the great Cats. He suppressed a feral grin; for his part, whatever pain might be inflicted on such a man could possibly be unjust.

    “Well, we must tell the Steward”, he concluded. “On this, I cannot act alone.”

    Julian looked distinctly uncomfortable. Out of habit, for a sense of security he grasped the hilt of his sword.

    Montdragón understood the motion. “You have students waiting, yes? Go, then; I shall bear your words to the Steward.”


    Samson tossed his towel over a chair and pulled on loose shorts. He was reaching for his shirt when the door swung open. His impulse to deliver a reprimand died the moment he realized who the intruder was. “Don Rudolfo – joining me for breakfast?”

    Montdragón’s scowl was fierce. “You show too much skin, Señor Steward.”

    “Hey – no one announced you!”

    “Dress. Bring your saber – you skip too much practice.”

    But Montdragón’s eyes and the set of his chin told Samson this wasn’t about sword practice. “Sure”, the Steward replied as he pulled on shirt and vest. “The portico?”

    “It will suit”, the other replied. He waited for Samson to retrieve his blade, and the two went out to the unfinished columned walkway, a feature of the original villa that Antonio had kept.

    “Stand at alert”, Montdragón commanded. Samson, no swordsman even after months of trying, did his best, earning a grunt for his efforts. Hands that knew better than his body did nudged and pressed him into position. But the brain behind them wasn’t truly focused on the training – though there was definitely no slacking off.

    “I had none to announce me, indeed”, he said softly, tapping Samson’s right shoulder closer to the proper form. “Nor did the one who set eyes on you and Señor Weylan in the hour past have any announce him, Steward.”

    Antonio’s Steward concentrated on his stance.. “Someone... saw us?”

    Montdragón sighed. “Friend Samson, I know the delight in one another you share with Aide Weylan. I do not understand that to which it leads you – though as Padre Lente admonishes, it is not my place to condemn!” He chuckled. “Nor, happily, is it my place to give approval. But when your passion leads you by the nose, you do not think! So, yes – you were seen, unclothed, embracing... and more .. upon a stallion.
    “Now – draw and salute!”

    “If you don’t condemn no one else will”, Samson responded as he complied.

    Montdragón nodded in approval. “Your grip is better, and the blade steady.
    “As you say, none who dwell here will condemn – yet this one will.” Samson’s sword wavered; Montdragón slapped it back into place, catching it with his palms. “Or, I should say, he would, for he is caught. Now, defend!”

    They fenced for a minute, the teacher pausing three times to make Samson repeat a sequence. Then Montdragón drove through the Steward’s best effort and trapped his blade against a column. His stance was that of master lecturing apprentice; his words were not.

    “Don Julian was about early, as is often so when he cannot sleep. He was not the one who saw you, but he saw the one who did. He saw also the reaction, the same as was his not so long ago, which by the grace of God and the words of Padre Lente he is taming. This gave him a puzzle, for as he said to me after, none who dwells here should show the distaste this one did. And so: Don Julian followed, and the watcher met another. A sign was exchanged, one shown to us all. At that, Don Julian struck. His captive is in the hands of Druid Prentiss now; he was not gentle, for he sought to prevent both from escaping. But the other got away.” He stepped back, master to novice once more. “Again.”

    Sabers clashed, longer this time, until Captain overcame Steward once more. “Don Julian acted well; signals went up. Two Scouts roam between the spy and his home – they may not catch him, but the great cats, yes.”

    With a tight grin, Samson waved Montdragón back and raised his sword again. “Once more – then we have to plan.”


    Weylan chewed his lip, no effort made to hide his worry. “The Inquisition knows about us?! Oh, Lord! We aren’t ready – and they’ll come after this as fast as any heresy!”

    Samson shook his head. “They’re not ready, either. They’re just hunting.”

    “Truly”, Montdragón agreed. He sipped redberry juice, mulled against the chill morning. “They cannot know we are here – certainly they have questioned merchants, but save for ours, none come to the mesa. No, they are seeking.”

    “Why now?” Weylan’s voice trembled a little.

    Samson closed his eyes and cursed quietly. “Anne. He looked at the ceiling and shook his head. “She went up and healed their High Bishop, which was good in several ways. His Bishopness may believe her an angel sent from heaven, and the parish where she settled may think her a saint, but the Inquisition is not so gullible.”

    “Friend Samson, she is an angel sent from Heaven, as also a saint”, Montdragón countered, waving an admonishing finger.

    The Steward grinned. “Okay, I could make that theological argument, too. But she’s also a human being who didn’t pop into existence out of nothing, and the Inquisition aren’t likely to see God at work unless it benefits them. So they want to know where she came from. Then they’ll want to know if there are more like her.
    “But they don’t know yet. Okay, Weylan, we have to be more discreet – however much it lights your fire to ‘do it naturally in Nature’, we can’t afford to be seen.” Then he grinned wickedly. “No, we can’t afford to be seen yet.”

    Montdragón laughed as Weylan looked puzzled. “Yes, yes! When their agents do not return, they will sent more expert eyes – they will find us. Friend Samson, you are thinking this spring?”

    Samson nodded. “Antonio may or may not be back before they are ready to strike, but that shouldn’t matter. Osvaldo sent a batch of lancers north to Ryan; we can get them here. I want a message to Osvaldo, too – send us some more champions, or at least trained volunteers, by spring.”

    Weylan shifted into aide mode, grabbing slate and crude pencil. “A hundred?” he asked.

    “Two hundred would be better, and at least half of them good archers”, Samson amended. “And a message to Artur and the clans – I’ll want a few thousand Celts, too. And of course Ryan, for riflemen, and some of Rigel’s Riders.”

    Weylan got it all as fast as his boss talked, then shifted attention to Antonio’s Captain.

    “I will see that another gross of Scout Oran’s little books make their way into the Realm, also”, Montdragón proposed. He grinned and Samson chuckled.

    “Definitely – let’s get them really riled up. That Catecimso Maior del Doctor Martin Lutero has them tearing their hair anyway – if we can give them the idea that it and Anne came from the same place, they’ll foam at the mouth. And it does sound like the things Anne preaches – down to earth, practical, and full of the grace of God.”

    Weylan frowned. “You’re trying to stir them up!”

    Montdragón laughed. “In truth, yes! There are two ways to win a battle, my friend: be always ready, so that when your enemy strikes you overcome him; or decide when you are going to be ready, and get him to attack then! We must make them angry like hornets, so they come when we wish!”

    “And make mistakes”, Samson added. “That’s why once we are ready, and when we’re sure they’ve got some agents here, we’re going to make sure they see us – and not just us, Wey! Anne gave them a threat, Oran gave them heresy – we’ll give them debauchery they can call ‘abomination’! So they come swarming” – all tone went from his voice – “and die.”

    Montdragón raised his mug. “A noble plan. Even so....” Samson waited for his comrade’s thoughts to gel. “No – I thought, ‘They will bring Knights of Alcántara, and some among them are noble in heart.’ A pity, but we cannot distinguish between a man of noble heart and one not so. If all goes well, we can give quarter to honorable soldiers, but before then... they die.”

    Samson frowned. “I forgot about the Knights. Rudolfo, if we get them truly, truly angry, how many men could they bring?”

    “I can only guess, but... four thousand? Possibly five thousand.”

    The Steward closed his eyes. “We can’t handle five thousand, can we?”

    Montdragón shook his head. “Our lines are too long. Certainly, they can only attack in certain places, but if they come in force at one, and we commit our reserves, they would have the men to make another attack in force at another place. Yes, they are fanatics, but even fanatics can be commanded by officers who know their trade.”

    “Weylan, another message”, Samson said. “To Devon’s works, and a copy to Wizard Ryan” – both Weylan and Montdragón grinned at that distinction. “By spring, I need a dozen mortars with no less than three dozen rounds each. If possible, send the mortars on wagons we can use to move them around in battle.”

    “Cannon?” Weylan asked while still writing.

    “Two or three”, Montdragón answered. “We will not be fighting at such a distance they will be of much use – but just in case.” He looked to Samson, who nodded. “Tell me, friend Samson, what is a ‘mortar’?”

    A cold grin preceded the reply. “Think death from above”, he began.




    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  46. #1546
    HUGS! ;-)
    Kyanimal's Avatar
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Awesome chapter, Kuli!

    Took me a moment to wrap my slow brain around the shift in perspective, but I'm liking the way this is going!

    Stir up the Inkies to follow their own fanaticism to their own demise!

    And, as for Samson and Weylan? More power to them!

    All the more reasons to ... No Matter What ...

    Keep Smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  47. #1547
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyanimal View Post
    Awesome chapter, Kuli!

    Took me a moment to wrap my slow brain around the shift in perspective, but I'm liking the way this is going!

    Stir up the Inkies to follow their own fanaticism to their own demise!


    And, as for Samson and Weylan? More power to them!

    All the more reasons to ... No Matter What ...

    Keep Smilin'!!
    Chaz
    It's a simple combination of Sun Tzu's admonition to give the enemy a target he can't refuse and Clausewitz' observation that "War is fought by human beings".

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  48. #1548
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Kuli,
    A great chapter - as we begin preparing the trap for Los Inquisidores.

    The nasty bastards of the bastard Church Oligarch, not the true Church.


    And I know, if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest . . .

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