[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XII - Through The Looking Glass Once Again

Aaron Clausen mightymartianca at gmail.com
Mon Jun 25 21:03:03 BST 2007

> [Alex]
> The young scout smiles in sheer joy when she looks at the room and
> the hot tub. Closing the door, she allows her dirty fatigues fall to
> the ground and quickly pulls off her t-shirt. Underwear follows just 
> moments after. Almost without pause, she jumps into the hot water.
> Generally the best she gets in the field is a dip in a stream or a
> quick shower from a solar heated bag. To soak the muscle aches and
> get fully clean is wonderful. For a few moments, she can forget about
> everything. It is almost with reluctance that she gets out of the
> tub.
> As she has always been more of a tomboy than anything else, she has 
> only rarely worn dresses. Still, what has been laid out for her is 
> incredibly beautiful. Her hands move slowly across the white cloth.
> Maybe it is a good time to show the men in the group that she is a
> woman. If he was not hurt, it would not be a bad thing to impress
> Osiris. No matter what she was told, as a little girl she was always
> impressed by stories of Cyber-Knights. Back in the bathroom, she
> applies her makeup with far more care than she usually does. She
> slides the dress on, enjoying the feel of the soft material.
> With that, she slowly walks into the area where everybody else is 
> waiting.
> [/Alex]

Bongo whistles.  "I may not be human," he says, "but that bath sure made 
some difference."


>> [GM]
>> The Prince turns to the company. "I am told that you made your way 
>> through a doorway after being attacked by Coalition Borgs. If I
>> may, could I ask where it was you were and what sort of door it was
>> that you passed through?"
>> The strange man Bruth, though several chairs down, leans forward, 
>> clearly quite keen for the answer.
>> [/GM]

> [Ted]
> Ted addressed the prince, "Given the sensitivity of OUR mission, your
> Highness, perhaps we could discuss this in a more private setting."
> [/Ted]

The Prince eyes Ted oddly for a moment, but then nods.  "My apologies, 
but as you can imagine, we must always be vigilant."

> [Ted]
> Ted takes the time more carefully observe this strange manned named 
> Bruth.
> [/Ted]

Bruth is a slender-built man with short grey hair.  His face is
wrinkled, and there are two obvious (though not large) scars, one on
each cheek.  He is wearing a long black cloak with embroidered silver
stars and moons.  He has several rings on his right hand, all
marvelously shaped in gold, silver and platinum, with bright gems
(diamonds, rubies and jade) and runic tracings.  On his the ring
finger of his left hand is a single plain iron ring, without carvings
or gems.  His speech sounds vaguely foreign, though his American is
better than many native speakers.  His eyes are dull greyish-blue, as
if he had cataracts, and yet he seems to have no problem seeing.

> [Carlos]
> "These are things I would like to know myself. I am a simple man, and
> was acting as 'protection' for some esteemed scholars. How I ended up
> here, I'm not sure."
> [/Carlos]

The Prince smiles.  "I am sure you are more than just a simple man." he 
replies.  "You have the look of the traveler about you, and you most 
clearly do not come from this part of the world.  My maternal 
grandfather was from far to the south, from Mexico, and his first name 
was Carlos as well.  He had many strange stories to tell, as, I am sure, 
you do to.  I look forward, perhaps this evening, to hearing some of 
those stories from you and your companions."

> [Ted]
> "Bongo," the reptilian telepath projected privately to his canine 
> companion, "Do you get any kind of readings on our friend Bruth?"
> [/Ted]

Bongo briefly tries to read Bruth's surface thoughts.  He then responds 
telepathically to Ted.  "He's curious, but there's also something else, 
like he was expecting the door to open, or at least, he was not surprised."

While this is going on, the Mayor is spending a great deal of time 
doting on Alex and Amanda.

"Tell me ladies," he says, his voice slightly slurred by drink, "are 
such handsome women to be found where you come from?  You see, I am a 
poor widower.  My third... er rather... fourth wife having died last 
year.  A man in my high position can scarcely afford, however, to remain 
grieving for too long.  My niece needs me to set an example of wedded 

The young woman's face blushes, and she lowers her head.  She seems very 
impressed with Talas, however, as do many other women at the table.  His 
Elvish good looks have their effect.  His exotic clothes only add to this.

Major Pournelle is also taking his turn eying up some of the guests, 
though in a much politer and less obvious fashion.  He tries his best to 
make up for the Mayor's inept and inebriated advances.  "What the Mayor 
means, of course, is that those that would lead need harmony in their 
own lives.  Sadly, there are many widows and widowers in these dark 
days."  There is a look of sadness in his eyes, betraying some sorrow of 
his own.

One of the main doors is quite suddenly flung open, and hobbling in on 
crutches come Osiris!  He is clean-shaven, wearing clothes similar to 
his other male companions.  Still, he looks very old, and the lines in 
his face seem deeper.  The entire room stands, showing their reverence 
for the Cyberknight.  A servant quickly and quietly puts a chair out for 
him between Amanda and Bongo.

"I couldn't stand another minute in bed." Osiris says, his voice hoarse 
but strong.  More quietly he says to Amanda and Bongo "It's a nice 
place, a place where a man might retire after..."  He does not finish 
his sentence.

Bruth looks even more curious now.  His attention lingers long on 
Osiris, and he rubs his iron ring several times.  Finally he speaks.

"Perhaps you fine people do not wish to speak of your mission," he says, 
"but most assuredly you can bring us some news of the outside world. 
Our contacts are intermittent, and word from other places fills us with 
pleasure."  Despite the request, he does not look the sort of man that 
is ignorant of the world.

Aaron Clausen
mightymartianca at gmail.com

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