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Thread: Fit for Life

  1. #1501
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Quote Originally Posted by DonQuixote View Post
    Kuli,
    It's been a long time, but it's a great chapter.

    The d'Aragon finally have their destiny, and the Roman elder knows of it and their need.

    Oh, to have been a fly on the wall for the unveiling of the sword and its taking up by the rightful heir!
    You would have been dialing 911.

    "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

    203
    Endurance Run


    Nootauah ran easily along with the rider in uniform. “That’s House Bolboa”, Rita observed. “What could bring a messenger this far out?”

    “Nothing good”, Rigel replied, scowling. “We’re a week from Osvaldo’s nearest outpost.” But a minute later they learned it wasn’t quite so far: House Escobar was pushing land-hungry vassals farther than the Snatched had dreamed.

    The rider didn’t know the message; it was written. Rigel scowled at the tube, so Austin grabbed it. “Oh, shit”, he swore softly, scanning it. “Ryan says Artur needs us to deal with Urien. We have to go straight to Torc Falls and meet some O’Flannery – they’ll take us to Urien.” Rigel’s squire looked up. “Artur thinks we need to be there in less than two weeks – and that was almost three days ago.”

    Rita chuckled. “You look like you’ve just been run over”, she told Rigel, then to Austin, “Pick us a small group – he won’t be able to think for an hour.” Austin grinned and turned to look back at the column.

    Rigel stuck his tongue out at Rita. “Only by a Volt scooter”, he responded. But his expression looked serious, a little beaten.


    The sound of a throat clearing caught Rita by surprise. She turned to see Sir Wade Applegate, with a troubled expression, holding two bags out to her. One was hers, which she took. The other had never left the nobleman’s side; indeed he’d never let anyone touch it.

    “Is this for me, as well?” she inquired.

    His brow wrinkled. “Alas, my lady, I cannot. So I thought I had decided, but” – he let his hand and bag fall – “it is my commission to deliver them to lord Rigel myself, when the time is right.” Grey eyes searched the horizon to the north, and he sighed. “That time was to have been when we all departed the Escobar lands for your home, but now you venture not in that direction, but another. I shall wait until we meet again.”

    “Whatever’s in there is serious and important”, Rita responded. “Right now, in a rush, Rigel doesn’t need whatever it is to think about. By keeping them for now, you do him a favor.”

    A crinkle of a smile spoke of relief. “A good face to put on it. May God speed you to your destination, and keep you whole.”

    “And also you”, Rita replied. She watched the bag, not the bearer, as Appleway turned and walked away. She had her guesses about the contents, but had been as stubborn as the messenger at saying nothing to Rigel.



    Tanner watched the small party head northeast. Nootauah was confident she could find a set of lakes the Escobars were settling by, then Cliff Lake, discovered by Chen and Oran on their trek for a haven when first Snatched. He shook his head at memories that seemed from a lifetime ago. Briefly he wished he could have gone along, to see Torc Falls again, but submitted to duty: one of the Snatched had to command the expedition, and explain to Lord Escobar why Rigel wasn’t visiting as planned – and since Rita as Wise Woman and Anaph as chief Druid were essential to Rigel, he was the only choice.



    Rigel stared at the fire. He lay front down on a blanket, suffering Nootauah’s probing fingers that dug into aching muscles. “We’re not going to make it”, he complained. “All this effort – ten days of the hardest riding I’ve ever done, and we’re only at Cliff Lake.”

    Rita threw a pebble at him. “Whine, whine. Mister ‘I’ve got the weight of the world on my shoulders’, you know we had to try. And we may catch him even now – Artur isn’t infallible, you know... any more than you are. Tomorrow we reach Torc Falls, and the MacO’Shannon will have word for us. If we’re too late, we’re too late. And don’t worry about disappointing Ryan; he couldn’t know how far away we were.” She enjoyed the grimace on his face as Nootauah found another sore muscle. “In fact we should have been closer – we didn’t mean to be out this long.”

    “Just one of those things beyond my control, right?” Rigel inquired sourly. “Too many of those.”

    “Oh, rubbish! If those things were under your control, you’d complain about having too many things to worry about!”

    “Do already”, he muttered.

    “Then shut your orifice about ones you can’t!” his Wise Woman snapped. “Or actually, be thankful for them – it’s less of a work load.”

    Nootauah swatted his bare rump when Rigel burst into laughter at the absurdity of that. “Right”, he said, “disasters come along, and lessen my work load? Ha!”

    Rita grinned; she’d gotten his mood changed, and that was enough. “So are you ready for some tea?”



    “Fort Tree”, Austin declared, wonder and a sort of triumph mixed in his tone. He went on more softly, “Lumina Healed Antonio here. Rigel called Casey ‘Squire of the Axe’. Ocean got a torc and became really good with herbs – ‘Ocean of Stars in the Night’. And Lumina almost burned herself out doing Healing. We stayed here three weeks getting stronger after we almost died of thirst.” The squire grinned. “We tanned gr’venstut hides with brains and piss.” He turned. “Rigel, it’s where you accepted being our leader.”

    “I started the ‘Squire’s Code’ here”, Rigel recalled. “And Oran added a different stink to the one Chen made – he taught us to make glue from dead animal parts.”

    “Grim determination became confidence”, Rita said. “Up to Fort Tree and Torc Falls, we were just trying to stay alive. Here we found some hope.” She looked around. “Anaph, did you do something to the place before we left?”

    The Druid saw what she meant: other than scattered thin spots of moss, the adirondacks the squires had built for shelter didn’t look like they’d changed at all. He shrugged. “Only by accident, if I did. I was too busy figuring out being a Druid – not just the Snatcher’s puppet.” He swung wearily down from Gloaming, stumbling until his staff touched the ground. “Right now I have a better use for them than talking about them – I’m going to sleep.” With that he walked to the nearest adirondack and started setting out his bedroll.


    Nootauah smiled as she stared into the darkness. There was a Scout out there, watching them. Her guess was he – she was sure it was a male – had seen how weary they all were, and was waiting till morning to contact them. She, however, had other ideas: By the time Austin came to relieve her at watch, she was stretched out naked on one of the Tree’s – the one the fort was named for – large branches, doing yoga exercises.

    “Who’s waiting in the bushes?” Austin inquired, grinning.

    “What makes you think there’s someone in the bushes?” responded the Scout.

    Austin chuckled. “You haven’t been in anyone’s bed in ages.” His grin almost split his face. “You could always ask me.”

    The native American Yankee snorted. “You function, but there’s only one female you have passion for.” She laughed softly at Austin’s surprised look. “You call her name in your sleep, Squire. I bet you make wet spots in your bedroll, too.”

    “For that I should sneak into your bed”, Austin retorted. “You tease me, I should give you sex with no passion.”

    “Go to Rigel – he’ll accommodate you. And he needs the release.”

    Austin shook his head. “‘Rigel’s Rule’”, he reminded her. “I know Aaron told you all.”

    “Patryk, actually”, Nootauah corrected. “And now I’m going to surprise our visiting Scout – this talk has me hornier than half a herd of horses.” The last sound she heard as she swung off the limb was Austin stifling a guffaw.





    "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

    And the trek North has begun in earnest.

    And our Native Guide/Ranger is about to scratch an itch.

    Poor Austin. When will he be of age? It hasn't been long enough, yet?

    That day will come, and so will he and Rigel.


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

  4. #1504
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    Re: Fit for Life

    Lovin' the picture! Lucky tree!! (And, apparently, there's a soon to be even Luckier Scout! )

    I am becoming more concerned about Urien. Does not Anaph have a clue, or two?

    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

    Hi, Guys.

    I was e-mailing our good author, Kuli today.

    I think most of you know he had some major issues with his PC. That has pretty much been resolved - new Win 8 laptop that created some of its own stressors! The hard drive on his old PC was restored and he got what he could from it.

    Anyway, the reason for the post - he's been working in the next chapter, and it wasn't coming out the way he needed it to - so he's scrapped what he had and is working on a re-write.

    In the IMMEDIATE, he's taking a few days away from the madding crowd to degauss himself from life's current stressors.
    He's going to be enjoying Nature a bit more and technology a bit less.

    He asked me to let everyone know, since it has been awhile.


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

  6. #1506
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    Re: Fit for Life

    THANK YOU!, DQ for the update! I, too, have lately been thinking, a Lot, about our dear Author, in addition to the continuation of his Epic!

    And, yeah!, I'm also aware of his "appreciation" of Win8!

    GREAT News about his determination to continue F4L!

    How does it feel when we're talkin' about you in the 3rd person, Kuli?

    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 Kyanimal View Post
    THANK YOU!, DQ for the update! I, too, have lately been thinking, a Lot, about our dear Author, in addition to the continuation of his Epic!

    And, yeah!, I'm also aware of his "appreciation" of Win8!

    GREAT News about his determination to continue F4L!

    How does it feel when we're talkin' about you in the 3rd person, Kuli?

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    Like I'm a character in a story.


    I just finished that chapter, and lo! and behold, once again I find it isn't the "next" chapter after all -- one needs to come in between. But the "intruder" is a very alive one in my inner eye, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

    It should also be fun.

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


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

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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

  10. #1510
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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

  14. #1514
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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

  15. #1515
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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

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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 . . .

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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

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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 . . .

  19. #1519
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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

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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 . . .

  21. #1521
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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

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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 . . .

  23. #1523
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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

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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

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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 . . .

  28. #1528
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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

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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 . . .

  30. #1530
    HUGS! ;-)
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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

  31. #1531
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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 . . .

  32. #1532
    HUGS! ;-)
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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

  34. #1534
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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?
    ____
    If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities. -- Voltaire (1694-1778).

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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 . . .

  37. #1537
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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 . . .

  38. #1538
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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

  39. #1539
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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 . . .

  40. #1540
    Evolving...give it a try. Críostóir's Avatar
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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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  41. #1541
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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 . . .

  42. #1542
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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
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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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  45. #1545
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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

  46. #1546
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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 . . .

  47. #1547
    Evolving...give it a try. Críostóir's Avatar
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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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  48. #1548
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    Re: Fit for Life

    LoL.


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

  49. #1549
    Bammer's Papa
    Kulindahr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    on the foggy, damp, redneck Oregon coast
    Gender
    Male
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    Bisexual
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    Single
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    104,089
    Blog Entries
    78

    Code of Conduct

    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

  50. #1550
    Defender of Downtrodden
    DonQuixote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western New York
    Gender
    Male
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    Curious
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    Married
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    41,948

    Code of Conduct

    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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