Page 759 of 2687

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:01 pm UTC
by SBN
mscha wrote:Thank Randall for MobTeeseboose...

Code: Select all

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MobTeeseboose, mscha and 18 guests

It'd be pretty lonely here, otherwise.
(Yes, I appreciate you too, Bing [Bot], even though I haven't used Bing in, like, ever.)

I'm here-ish. The adorable ball of fluff in my avatar isn't feeling well, so I didn't get much sleep, but I'm Waiting in between letting her in and out.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:04 pm UTC
by jjjdavidson
LendONG a hand...
Image
Edited for redundONG.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:10 pm UTC
by akacat
Buffygirl, may I have a hat? (I'll PM you as well.)

CasCat wrote:I'm Ketchupping, but I had to jump in here (from one old fogey to another) and say you're not the only one who remembers BBSes and 300 baud modems.

I don't remember all the control codes anymore, but ^G rang the bell....

Ever ddial...?

CasCat

No! I'd never even heard of ddialing. I wonder -- if I had, would I not have an aversion to chat systems now? Or would I dislike them even more?

ChronosDragon wrote:
Spoiler:
Curse you, whoever posted that tvtropes link a couple pages back! I've fallen in to the Obvious Trap of TV tropes, with two tabs opening for every one I close! I can't escape!


Edit: Mwa ha ha, now I've passed on the curse!

Ha! I've developed an immunity to iocane tvtropes. However, another forum I'm on has the very wise (I think) rule that all tvtropes links must be preceded by a warning.

BlueCrab wrote:Blind posting from 749
...gotta find that picture of my friend Catherine playing Sarlac under a sheet...

Are Sarlacs known for their singing ability? If so, my friend Catherine also plays that game.

astrocub wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:
bmonk wrote:Do we have a term for a person who is blitzing to ketchup, but also has a current tab open? <snip>

Mixing your ketchup with your mayo-Now-se? You must be a Fry Sauce Blitzer!

:D
I have so many tabs open I feel like I'm at a frat party.

Goodness, frat parties have changed!


And now I'm off to hide in some fanfic for a few nps... Or NPs... Or dix. If I don't return, please send out a search party?

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:14 pm UTC
by charlie_grumbles
mscha wrote:Thank Randall for MobTeeseboose...

Code: Select all

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MobTeeseboose, mscha and 18 guests

It'd be pretty lonely here, otherwise.
(Yes, I appreciate you too, Bing [Bot], even though I haven't used Bing in, like, ever.)


Odd list. I've been here continuously (though this hasn't always been the front window) for the past 3 newpix and a bit. Normally I'm connected for about 16np per 24. I wonder if it times out if there is no activity.

Would any of the Prelates tell us that? Has it been written in the holy FAQ? Has it been written in the commentaries and proclaimed by the Rabbis? [religion reference setting switched - OFF]. Sorry there.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:17 pm UTC
by akacat
charlie_grumbles wrote:
mscha wrote:Thank Randall for MobTeeseboose...

Code: Select all

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MobTeeseboose, mscha and 18 guests

It'd be pretty lonely here, otherwise.
(Yes, I appreciate you too, Bing [Bot], even though I haven't used Bing in, like, ever.)


Odd list. I've been here continuously (though this hasn't always been the front window) for the past 3 newpix and a bit. Normally I'm connected for about 16np per 24. I wonder if it times out if there is no activity.

Would any of the Prelates tell us that? Has it been written in the holy FAQ? Has it been written in the commentaries and proclaimed by the Rabbis? [religion reference setting switched - OFF]. Sorry there.

It times out, for it knows not when you time out. I think someone said at ~ten minutes? Though heaven knows some of these pages can take longer than that to fully read and appreciate.

Ok, I'm really off to fanfic now...

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:20 pm UTC
by SBN
akacat wrote:
charlie_grumbles wrote:
mscha wrote:Thank Randall for MobTeeseboose...

Code: Select all

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MobTeeseboose, mscha and 18 guests

It'd be pretty lonely here, otherwise.
(Yes, I appreciate you too, Bing [Bot], even though I haven't used Bing in, like, ever.)


Odd list. I've been here continuously (though this hasn't always been the front window) for the past 3 newpix and a bit. Normally I'm connected for about 16np per 24. I wonder if it times out if there is no activity.

Would any of the Prelates tell us that? Has it been written in the holy FAQ? Has it been written in the commentaries and proclaimed by the Rabbis? [religion reference setting switched - OFF]. Sorry there.

It times out, for it knows not when you time out. I think someone said at ~ten minutes? Though heaven knows some of these pages can take longer than that to fully read and appreciate.

Ok, I'm really off to fanfic now...

Not completely sure what constitutes activity though. Refreshing the page isn't enough.
I suspect most of the guests are timed-out Waiters. (But why doesn't MobTeeseboose ever seem to time out?)

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
by jjjdavidson
akacat wrote:
charlie_grumbles wrote:
Spoiler:
mscha wrote:Thank Randall for MobTeeseboose...

Code: Select all

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MobTeeseboose, mscha and 18 guests

It'd be pretty lonely here, otherwise.
(Yes, I appreciate you too, Bing [Bot], even though I haven't used Bing in, like, ever.)
Odd list. I've been here continuously (though this hasn't always been the front window) for the past 3 newpix and a bit. Normally I'm connected for about 16np per 24. I wonder if it times out if there is no activity.

Would any of the Prelates tell us that? Has it been written in the holy FAQ? Has it been written in the commentaries and proclaimed by the Rabbis? [religion reference setting switched - OFF]. Sorry there.

It times out, for it knows not when you time out. I think someone said at ~ten minutes? Though heaven knows some of these pages can take longer than that to fully read and appreciate.

It does time out. My own experience is that I can walk away for up to an hour, but others have said they get logged off in a few minutes, so it may depend on your connection, or your browser, or your location, or... Is this another example of umwelt?

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:39 pm UTC
by k.bookbinder
BlitzGirl wrote:
Spoiler:
Nice catch, but I still like the Calabar python, for being brownish and shiny, kind of blotchy, weird, and stubby at both ends:Image

That last descriptor for me is the zinger. If I saw one of these slithering around, that would definitely come up in my eyewitness description. I guess I am no longer a Madagascarist. I'll just go play with the African squirpys now.


My vote is also for the Calabar Molpython. Though I'm not sure it means that they are anywhere in particular, only that the GLR, Creator of Time, in his ineffable wisdom, has chosen certain elements from the [heretical] Outside [/heretical] to incoporate into Time. I suppose that may make me a Randalversian.

edfel wrote:Sorry for the downtime for the map, everything's fine now. It /should/ work for the whole month now, otherwise I'll see it coming from a few wix...
Spoiler:
New feature


Thanks to our wiki contributors (esp. kenmelken, if I remember correctly), the periods are now well split and documented.
You can now navigate the different "ages" of time:



Note that it is still a work in progress:
- there should be a slide-bar to scroll through the frames of the given, I don't know why it's hidden
- the "wiki" frame is far from being an ideal way to show this, it would be much better to parse the wiki page earlier and integrate the data directly to the site. Anyone with an idea of how to do this is welcome :)
- it should be possible to navigate by keyboard at some point (edit) it is possible to navigate with arrow keys :) (and w to toggle the wiki window)
- also: each view change implies a new wiki request.... for the sake of the wiki, please avoid reloading a thousand times the same period or similar "F5ish" behavior
- I take my data from the one page of the wiki where all eons/eras/periods are listed: the update is not automatic, but I have a script to do it quickly whenever I want.


I am always excited to see updates from our Holy Catographer. Wonderful! The Ages of Time is a great chrono-map.

I have had my quick ketchup but am still not fully de-coma'd. So if no one minds, I shall be in my corner in the back of the cave with Daft Punk, getting my blood moving.

*headphones on...*

Around the World, Around the World
Around the World, Around the World
Around the World, Around the World
Around the World, Around the World

We're waiting for it, waiting for it
We're waiting for it, waiting for it
We're waiting for it, waiting for it
We're waiting for it, waiting for it
We're waiting for it, waiting for it
We're waiting for it, waiting for it
We're waiting for it, waiting for it

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:10 pm UTC
by mscha
ERELONG...
Image

-- posted by newpixbot

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:42 pm UTC
by richP
TheMinim wrote:
Yes, but it doesn't make anything definite. And it doesn't rule out the continent.


It does rule out Antarctica, based on the face Cuegan didn't freeze to death before this...

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:43 pm UTC
by ergman
mscha wrote:ERELONG...
Image

-- posted by newpixbot


My, it is quiet here. Just me and ggh, and I have to go eat things. Have fun being alone, guhguhe!
And richP. I imagine that name stems from your nutritious urine (ewwww)
Alright while I was posting, some folk showed up. Whatevers

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:54 pm UTC
by nerdsniped
yappobiscuits wrote:
Spoiler:
Ahh! I missed the Attack of the Molpython while a-coma...
Angelastic wrote:
Someguy945 wrote:Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom

Molpy molpy molpy molpy molpy molpy molpy molpy grapevine grapevine
I couldn't resist.

Warning: do not view this immediately before coma. The effects are... strange.

kenmelken wrote:For what it's worth, and to underscore how little we actually know about the full range of plant life in Africa, as recently as last year another species of Baobab was discovered on the continent which is a diploid species (formerly only thought to exist in Madagascar) rather than a tetraploid (like the species already known to exist on the continent). In other words, close relatives of formerly exclusive Madagascar-type baobabs are now showing up in Tanzania and Botswana. Some of the pictures actually look like a pretty close match for our baobabs (though admittedly not perfect, and especially not as big as their Madagascar relatives). Here's the article: http://www.uq.edu.au/nuq/jack/Taxon%20new%20GPS.pdf. Be warned, it's a very heavy read, but it does at least suggest that maybe the geographic exclusivity of certain types of baobabs isn't as concrete as we may believe.

Wait, are you suggesting that GLR has access to field data regarding the range of the Grandidier's Baobab, exceeding that available to the scientific community at large?

Why, of course. Of course he would.

ETA: looks like my predictionw was wrong.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:54 pm UTC
by mscha
jjjdavidson wrote:
akacat wrote:
charlie_grumbles wrote:
Spoiler:
mscha wrote:Thank Randall for MobTeeseboose...

Code: Select all

Who is online
Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MobTeeseboose, mscha and 18 guests

It'd be pretty lonely here, otherwise.
(Yes, I appreciate you too, Bing [Bot], even though I haven't used Bing in, like, ever.)
Odd list. I've been here continuously (though this hasn't always been the front window) for the past 3 newpix and a bit. Normally I'm connected for about 16np per 24. I wonder if it times out if there is no activity.

Would any of the Prelates tell us that? Has it been written in the holy FAQ? Has it been written in the commentaries and proclaimed by the Rabbis? [religion reference setting switched - OFF]. Sorry there.

It times out, for it knows not when you time out. I think someone said at ~ten minutes? Though heaven knows some of these pages can take longer than that to fully read and appreciate.

It does time out. My own experience is that I can walk away for up to an hour, but others have said they get logged off in a few minutes, so it may depend on your connection, or your browser, or your location, or... Is this another example of umwelt?

Tested. Here's how it behaves for me, I can't believe it's Umwelty...
You are shown as online as long as you have requested a page (e.g. did a refresh) in the past 5 minutes while being logged in, and have not clicked on ‘Logout’ since. (For instance, when I'm a-C.O.M.A, you'll see me online from about np:10 to np:15, since newpixbot checks at np:10 whether it needs to post.)
So, since it often takes (much) more than 5 minutes to catch up on a NP, you won't show up in the list for much of that time, even though you're actively reading.

Edit: this place is crowded with people saying they're (almost) all alone here... Image

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:58 pm UTC
by ggh
I've tried to leave the tribe and go on other journeys, but the light and warmth of the campfire keeps drawing me back. That and the crazy song that says "molpy" until the moo-molpies come home.
I bring three tarot cards from the edge of the woods: the Hanged Bot (v2 with improved edges), the Emperor and the Star.
Tarot_theHangedBot.jpg

Tarot_theEmperor.jpg

Tarot_theStar.jpg

Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:01 pm UTC
by mscha
ggh wrote:I bring three tarot cards from the edge of the woods: the Hanged Bot (v2 with improved edges), the Emperor and the Star.

ImageImageImage

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:10 pm UTC
by mscha
TONGUESTER...
Image

-- posted by newpixbot

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:10 pm UTC
by k.bookbinder
ggh wrote:I've tried to leave the tribe and go on other journeys, but the light and warmth of the campfire keeps drawing me back. That and the crazy song that says "molpy" until the moo-molpies come home.
I bring three tarot cards from the edge of the woods: the Hanged Bot (v2 with improved edges), the Emperor and the Star.
Tarot_theHangedBot.jpg

Tarot_theEmperor.jpg

Tarot_theStar.jpg

Spoiler:
Image
Image
Image


Wonderful! I especially like the tarot for The Star.

Much better than my attempt at Judgment :oops:

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:43 pm UTC
by moody7277
ggh wrote:I've tried to leave the tribe and go on other journeys, but the light and warmth of the campfire keeps drawing me back. That and the crazy song that says "molpy" until the moo-molpies come home.
I bring three tarot cards from the edge of the woods: the Hanged Bot (v2 with improved edges), the Emperor and the Star.


In comparing to the second constellation picture, I found that Blitzgirl is more or less the center of the part you used for The Star. Intentional, or happy accident?

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:46 pm UTC
by cellocgw
Just wondering, as my in-OTT memory is not as good as my Outside Memory: recall back to the early Pages when we still marked events by Outside Time, and the forum mods were having their usual April 1st field day with auto-replacement text. Of all those wacky substitutions, are any still in use as OTT-special-language terms (e.g. coma, needle-pulled)?

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:52 pm UTC
by k.bookbinder
cellocgw wrote:Just wondering, as my in-OTT memory is not as good as my Outside Memory: recall back to the early Pages when we still marked events by Outside Time, and the forum mods were having their usual April 1st field day with auto-replacement text. Of all those wacky substitutions, are any still in use as OTT-special-language terms (e.g. coma, needle-pulled)?


Oh most definitely. Coma is still widely used. We do not see the OTT refereed to as this needle-pulled thing too often, though, for it is more often referenced by its acronym OTT.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:54 pm UTC
by ucim
cellocgw wrote:Just wondering, as my in-OTT memory is not as good as my Outside Memory: recall back to the early Pages when we still marked events by Outside Time, and the forum mods were having their usual April 1st field day with auto-replacement text. Of all those wacky substitutions, are any still in use as OTT-special-language terms (e.g. coma, needle-pulled)?
Indeed both of those are still in use. Coma is especially so (I had forgotten that that was its origin) and has pretty much replaced "go to bed". "Needle-pulled" is used as an alternative, but "thread" is still in common use. Other phrases are kept alive as references, but I have not compiled a list. That might be another thing that could use wiki-updating-fu.

Wonderful Tarot cards, and I love the weekly noir episodes!

If Cuegan mentions that this specific kind of Baobob grows {wherever}, it would indicate more knowledge of their surroundings than "wow" would. An expression of awe like that is typically (though not always) used for a first encounter, which I would expect that was.

Jose

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:57 pm UTC
by charlie_grumbles
ggh wrote:I bring three tarot cards from the edge of the woods: the Hanged Bot (v2 with improved edges), the Emperor and the Star.


kewl
VErrrrrY kewl

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:02 pm UTC
by Earthling on Mars
STONG

Image

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:03 pm UTC
by SBN
ucim wrote:
cellocgw wrote:Just wondering, as my in-OTT memory is not as good as my Outside Memory: recall back to the early Pages when we still marked events by Outside Time, and the forum mods were having their usual April 1st field day with auto-replacement text. Of all those wacky substitutions, are any still in use as OTT-special-language terms (e.g. coma, needle-pulled)?
Indeed both of those are still in use. Coma is especially so (I had forgotten that that was its origin) and has pretty much replaced "go to bed". "Needle-pulled" is used as an alternative, but "thread" is still in common use. Other phrases are kept alive as references, but I have not compiled a list. That might be another thing that could use wiki-updating-fu.

I think coma predates the madness. Here's the first reference I found:
daef wrote:
Magnap wrote:Phew, just caught up. By the way, i think we should rid ourselves of all Outsider-thinking by coining a new term for what They call "Sleep". The Creator himself has helped us in comic #203 to coin the new verb, "to coma", with "coma" as the present tense and "comad" as the past, and with the future tense (which all verbs need!) still to be decided.


...I'll have to coma over this idea first


Edit: First and second references.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:27 pm UTC
by ucim
SBN wrote:I think coma predates the madness. Here's the first [and second] reference I found:
daef wrote:
Magnap wrote:Phew, just caught up. By the way, i think we should rid ourselves of all Outsider-thinking by coining a new term for what They call "Sleep". The Creator himself has helped us in comic #203 to coin the new verb, "to coma", with "coma" as the present tense and "comad" as the past, and with the future tense (which all verbs need!) still to be decided.
...I'll have to coma over this idea first
Yeah, that's the way I had recalled it. I thought I was wrong, but it turned out I was mistaken.

Jose

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:36 pm UTC
by fatness
buffygirl wrote:For fatness
Image

Aw shucks. I'm too cute.

Thanks!

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:41 pm UTC
by charlie_grumbles
Selcouth wrote:Man, though, that dream was really awesome. I really want to meet Randall now. :(

Stands to reason.

Let us know if he wears a beanie.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:00 pm UTC
by Valarya
New awesome buffyhats!!
New panoramas!
New Noir episodes!
I steered the thread back towards Africa through my Catalyst: BlitzGirl! Kidding. I give BG all the credit.

This has been a wonderful post-coma condiment, ya'll. Now off to [heresy] see the new Star Trek in IMAX [/heresy]. :mrgreen:

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:03 pm UTC
by Swein
ggh wrote:I've tried to leave the tribe and go on other journeys, but the light and warmth of the campfire keeps drawing me back. That and the crazy song that says "molpy" until the moo-molpies come home.
I bring three tarot cards from the edge of the woods: the Hanged Bot (v2 with improved edges), the Emperor and the Star.
Spoiler:
Tarot_theHangedBot.jpg

Tarot_theEmperor.jpg

Tarot_theStar.jpg


Ooooh! Well done! The Star was the best! Is there somewhere one can see all tarots?

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:07 pm UTC
by Sciscitor
ggh wrote:I've tried to leave the tribe and go on other journeys, but the light and warmth of the campfire keeps drawing me back.
Spoiler:
Image
[

Wow, this is really cool! A wonderful blend of my avatar, The Constellations of Time and the OTC. Cuegan resting under the watching and twinkling stars of the OTT seen through a window into their world.
Thank you!

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:08 pm UTC
by charlie_grumbles
Go-ONG
Image

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:14 pm UTC
by Montov
2 options; Either we will see bigger obstacles (hills), or this comic is ending. Usually when Megball leaves the frame, something changes in the scenery.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:20 pm UTC
by fatness
Montov wrote:2 options; Either we will see bigger obstacles (hills), or this comic is ending. Usually when Megball leaves the frame, something changes in the scenery.

3) Snake returns for the next five newpix.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:38 pm UTC
by ChronosDragon
While we're on the topic of snakes, if anyone was looking for a giant-snake-attack simulation game, today's your lucky day! Snaaake!

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:06 pm UTC
by ergman
ChronosDragon wrote:While we're on the topic of snakes, if anyone was looking for a giant-snake-attack simulation game, today's your lucky day! Snaaake!

Snake? Snake! SNAAAAAAAAAAAKKKEEEEE!!!!

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:07 pm UTC
by moody7277
New ONG, new scene

Image

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:15 pm UTC
by slinches
moody7277 wrote:New ONG, new scene
Spoiler:
Image

This new scene seems a bit anticlimactic after the last one with ledge climing and sneaky molpy-snakes. Not much opportunity for excitement here unless a mole-molpy or giant-trapdoor-spider-molpy suddenly appears.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:23 pm UTC
by ergman
moody7277 wrote:New ONG, new scene

Image


I wonder if GLR schedules slow parts of the OTC for the weekend when people are busy.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:31 pm UTC
by Montov
slinches wrote:
moody7277 wrote:New ONG, new scene
Spoiler:
Image

This new scene seems a bit anticlimactic after the last one with ledge climing and sneaky molpy-snakes. Not much opportunity for excitement here unless a mole-molpy or giant-trapdoor-spider-molpy suddenly appears.


I don't know, in the middle there is something that could be a molepy.

Re: 1190: "Time"

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:40 pm UTC
by Earthling on Mars
The Dark Lord

Chapter 1 - 2

The door to the throne room opens, and the light from the hallway reveals the shadowy frame of a servant. The Dark Lord stirs from his contemplative silence and sits up.

The servant bows. "Your Majesty," he says, "the General is here to see you, along with the Head Astrologer and one one of the Molpies."

"Let them in," says the Dark Lord, his voice as deep as the Sea¹.

The servant bows and exits, then returns with the General, the Head Astrologer, and the Molpy. The General and the Molpy bow to the Dark Lord. The Astrologer does not, but continues walking forward. He is an old man, with a gray beard growing down to his feet. He is dressed in a black robe decorated with white stars. He stops just a few feet from the Dark Lord's throne and begins speaking in a scratchy voice.

Spoiler:
"Your Majesty," he says, "the signs in the sky indicate the presence of a Thread on the Outside. The people of this Thread are watching the Inside through a form of Window known as a Comic."

"What of it?" says the Dark Lord. "We are always being watched -- by the Randall, and others on the Outside."

"The signs indicate great dedication on their part to watching," says the Head Astrologer. "They are present on this Thread more often, and in greater numbers, than other Threads. And among them are very powerful beings -- the signs indicate no less than two Dragons, and a Phoenix, among others. And..." The Astrologer's voice trails off.

"And what?" says the Dark Lord, his voice deeper than the Sea¹.

"And one of the Valar, Your Majesty," says the Astrologer. "And the signs indicate that this Vala carries Cup-cakes."

"Still, what of it?" says the Dark Lord. "We are always being watched from the Outside; how is this different?"

"It would not be good for us to be pelted with Cup-cakes from the Outside," says the Astrologer.

"I see," says the Dark Lord. "Dismissed."

The Astrologer turns and walks in a dignified manner from the throne room.

"What else have you to report?" the Dark Lord says to the General.

"This Molpy brings news from the Megball, Your Majesty," says the General.

"What news, Molpy?" says the Dark Lord.

This Molpy, unlike the other one, shows no fear at being in the presence of the Dark Lord, but saunters forward, makes a quick bow, and begins speaking.

"Your Majesty," she says, "The Megball have found the other River³. They followed it for a distance, then turned away and crossed the Dunes. When I left, they were resting under a Tree4."

"And has my Amoeba been successful at eating their brains?" says the Dark Lord.

"It has invaded one of their brains," says the Molpy, "but it's very slow. Personally, I think you should get some more efficient employees."

The General seems shocked that any would dare speak to the Dark Lord in that manner, but the Dark Lord is amused at the Molpy's sauciness.

"I will consider that," he says, his voice like the roar of the Sea¹. "Is there anything else, Molpy?"

"That's all," she says.

"Return to the Megball and the other Molpies, then," says the Dark Lord. "Dismissed."

The Molpy turns and exits the throne room.

"Is there anything else, General?" says the Dark Lord.

"We haven't been able to find out anything about LaPetite, Your Majesty," says the General.

"What have you done?" says the Dark Lord.

"We sent spies to the People in the Tents and the People in the Hills, Your Majesty," says the General.

"And?" says the Dark Lord.

"We have not been able to find if she came from either of those peoples, Your Majesty," says the General.

"I see," says the Dark Lord. He sits in silence for a while, thinking.

"LaPetite," he mutters, "She will be trouble. And with the reports of what she is doing at the Castle of the Megball... She will be trouble."

"What should we do about her, Your Majesty?" says the General. "Should we attack her at the Castle and slay her?"

"Nay," says the Dark Lord, "We cannot risk incurring the wrath of the Valar, especially one with Cup-cakes." He sits in contemplation for another while.

Then he sits up and speaks again.

"But," he says, "we must find out about her. General!"

"Yes, Your Majesty?" says the General.

"Attack the Castle of the Megball," says the Dark Lord, "with fifty Molpies and ten Sparrow-raptors. Do not harm LaPetite, but bring her to me for questioning."

The General grins. "Yes, Your Majesty!"

"I repeat: do not harm her," says the Dark Lord.

"Yes, Your Majesty, I understand," says the General. He fingers the hilt of his sword, eager to be off to battle.

The Dark Lord keeps the General waiting for a few moments. Then he waves his black-gloved hand. "Dismissed."

The General turns and marches out the door.

The Dark Lord sits back and returns to contemplating. He will find out what this LaPetite is planning.



¹ big
² small
³ neat, and bigger than the other River², but still smaller than the Sea¹
4 neat

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