Chapter #205

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                                +
                              +   +
                            +       +
                          +           +
                        +               +
                      +                   +
                    +                       +
                  +      THE ADVENTURERS      +
                    +                       +
                      +      Epic II      +
                        +               +
                          +           +
                            +       +
                              +   +
                                +

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells,    +
+  and other terms used in these stories are the property of  +
+  TSR, Inc.  However, this does not mean that TSR in any     +
+  way endorses or authorizes their use, and any such items   +
+  contained within these stories should not be considered    +
+  representative of TSR in any way, shape, or form.          +
+    Due to the nature of the Internet, these stories have    +
+  been widely available since 1991.  I have given them to    +
+  the world freely, and have never intended to market them   +
+  or in any way make money.  However, due to TSR, Inc.'s     +
+  copyright restrictions, old episodes of the Adventurers    +
+  are no longer being archived on any ftp site anywhere.     +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+    The player characters contained in these writings are    +
+  copyright 1994 by Thomas Miller.  Any resemblance to any   +
+  persons or characters either real or fictional is utterly  +
+  coincidental.  Copying and/or distribution of these tales  +
+  is permissible only under the sole condition that no part  +
+  of them will be used or sold for profit.  In that case, I  +
+  hope you enjoy them...                                     +
+                                                             +
+                            Thomas Miller                    +
+                            tmiller@cimmeria.oit.gatech.edu  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   THE PARTY:                                                +
+                                                             +
+   Alindyar      15th level dark elven mage              (N) +
+   Arnold        11th level human warrior               (NG) +
+   Belphanior    12th/14th/14th level high elven w/m/t  (CN) +
+      small immaterial wispy thing                           +
+   Ged           14th/14th level grey elf priest/mage   (NG) +
+   Lyra          12th level female dark elven mage       (N) +
+   Mongo         16th level dwarven warrior             (CG) +
+   Peldor        18th level human thief                  (N) +
+      Bosco       8th level halfling thief              (CN) +
+   Rillen        16th level human warrior                (N) +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   Date:    unknown                                          +
+   Time:    about noon                                       +
+   Place:   an alien city called "New Orleans"               +
+   Climate: moderately cold                                  +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+   "He doesn't have feelings...he doesn't think about        +
+    things like you and me.  You're out of your league."     +
+                                       - from _Slayground_   +
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





            CCV.  Two Missions and a Showdown





  The party is currently in three sub-groups:  Mongo, Peldor,
Rillen, Lyra, and Bosco are about to try and recover all of
Belphanior's lost weapons and items from a police station;
Ged, Alindyar, and Arnold, as well as Paula, are heading for
the library, in hopes of finding a clue to help get them to
their own universe; Belphanior is resting back in the hotel
room.

Peldor:  (having assumed the identity of an officer he just
  watched drive away, he strolls into the Zone 5 headquarters
  of the N.O.P.D.)
desk clerk:  Hi there...say, did you forget something?
Peldor:  Yeah...(mumbling incoherently)  Should only take a
  minute...(he enters the station through the door labelled
  "POLICE ONLY")
desk clerk:  (shrugs)  Busy, busy.
wispy thing:  (now totally transparent, it floats along
  behind the thief)  sss.

  Across the street in the doughnut shop, the others watched
and waited with anticipation.

Mongo:  Dammit...we'll never know what's going on!  What if
  he doesn't come back at all?
Bosco:  (continues to eat doughnut holes)  Glmph!
Lyra:  I suppose it would fall to us to go in there and get
  him.
Rillen:  (wearily)  What fun that would be...



  Meanwhile, the other group had entered the library and
was looking around in awe...

Ged:  Boccob!
Paula:  You might even find something about him in here.
Arnold:  Dhis is a big place.  Aaa.
Alindyar:  A vast emporium of knowledge, indeed...
Ged:  How are we to find what we seek?  This place is
  colossal.
Paula:  The card catalog, of course.  (she bounces over
  toward a large series of wooden drawers)
Alindyar:  (follows)  What manner of paperwork is this-  Ah.
Paula:  I'm checking for...science...flight...maybe even
  time travel...(she pulls out more small drawers full of
  cards)
Ged:  Whew, what a mess.
Alindyar:  There simply _must_ be a better way to organize
  this much raw information...
Arnold:  (flips through a series of cards)  Aaa?
Ged:  (begins lecturing Arnold about coming to centers of
  learning more often)



  Back in the hotel, a shadowy figure closed the suite door
behind him quietly.

assassin:  (checks his thin rubber gloves again, then looks
  around, proceeding into the suite's den)

  The hitman checked the den, then the kitchen, but nobody
was here.  A quick but thorough search of the furniture and
closets yielded nothing; the money must be in one of the
bedrooms, he decided.  It made sense, really.  Heading into
the rear of the suite, toward the bedrooms, he stopped short.
Sharply-honed instincts warned him of the presence of another
nearby!  Creeping soundlessly toward the nearest bedroom, he
realized that luck was with him:  the sheet-wrapped person
in the bed was facing away from him.  This would be a quick
kill, he thought, his pistol already in hand, silencer ready.
Passing just under the doorway, he aimed the powerful gun
and fired four quick shots into the body, which didn't even
twitch...



  Elsewhere in the city, within the police station, Peldor
confirmed his guess earlier.  More stripes did indeed signify
higher rank among these police.  Fortunately, he had chosen
a disguise target with an awful lot of stripes.

Peldor:  (looking around, he spots some signs on the wall)
  Hmm..."Restrooms and Lockers"...no.  "Interrogation Rooms"
  ...nah.  "Heavy Weapons Locker"...tempting, but no.  Ah.

  Before the thief was a sign with an arrow, which clearly
marked the way to the "Evidence Room" just like Paula had
guessed.  Without further ado, Peldor strolled away in that
direction.  The wispy thing sailed along behind him, serving
no purpose, at least not yet.  As he approached a large
counter, Peldor put on his best smile and leaned over,
looking the desk sergeant in the eyes.

desk sergeant:  Whaddya need, Captain?
Peldor:  I have to look at some evidence...remember that big
  shootout last night, over by the demolition site?
desk sergeant:  Oh, yeah...the one where they killed that
  weird guy?  Yeah, he had some strange shit.  I mean, a
  _sword_?  Geez.  They don't even know what some of that
  stuff is!
Peldor:  (produces a clipboard that he didn't have a moment
  ago)  Well, as you can see, I need to get in there and
  check that evidence, however unusual it may be.
desk sergeant:  Sure.  Sign in here.  (he pushes a pen over
  to Peldor)  Right there in the first column.
Peldor:  (sneaks a look at the nametag on his uniform, using
  the first name "Peldor" in a sloppy scrawl)  Okay.
desk sergeant:  (buzzes Peldor in, and the gate clicks open)
  Aisle 12, row "E"...
Peldor:  (strolls right in)  Gotcha, thanks.



  Meanwhile, in the library, Ged and Alindyar had assembled
a stack of books on a worktable.

Paula:  Geez...let's see what we've got here...chemistry...
  basic computers...physics...astronomy...flight...FLIGHT?!?
Ged:  (shrugs)  You never know.  (he opens a thick book on
  naval warfare)
Alindyar:  (deep in another book, he is learning another way
  to think about electricity)  Fascinating.
Arnold:  (busy reading a strange, thin tome entitled "Curious
  George")  Aaa.
Ged:  What does this world know of magic?
Paula:  Nothing, really.  It's all fake.
Alindyar:  That makes sense, considering what we have seen
  in this world already.
Ged:  Fake?  Oh, well...(he opens a few more books, apparently
  cross-referencing several topics)  Let's see, now.
Alindyar:  (leans over, also engrossed)
Paula:  Sheesh.  We've already been here for an hour.  How
  long are you gonna need?
Ged:  Hmm...uh...
Alindyar:  What time does this house of learning close its
  doors?
Paula:  Aie!  (she stands up)  I'm going for lunch.  Will
  you be okay here by yourself.
Ged:  (dismisses the girl with a wave of his hand)
Alindyar:  Aye, we will persevere.
Arnold:  I'll go width you, Paula.  (he puts Curious George
  aside)
Paula:  Cool!  Hey, I know a great hot dog stand around the
  corner...



  Back in the Hyatt-Regency's master suite, a very surprised
hitman threw sheets and pillows aside.

assassin:  Fake...?!?
Belphanior:  (leaps out from a closet and tackles the fellow,
  knocking his gun from his hand and into a corner)  Die!

  They wrestled around on the floor for a short while, but
it was the black-clad assassin who drew first blood, as his
knife appeared from nowhere, slashing a gash along the elf's
ribcage.

Belphanior:  Ghaaar!
assassin:  Clever...but it won't save you.
Belphanior:  Bah.  (he kicks out, lightning-fast, and knocks
  the knife-hand aside for a second, swinging with his closer
  arm)

  The left hook sent the assassin sprawling backwards, where
he tumbled and fell, knocking over a lamp in the process.
Wiping blood from his mouth, the hitman realized that this
skinny man was stronger than he looked.  A lot stronger.

assassin:  (deftly leaps to his feet, and reverses the knife
  in his hand)  No more games.
Belphanior:  We're playing a game?
assassin:  Perhaps not.  (he throws the knife at Belphanior)
Belphanior:  Whoa.  (he catches it)
assassin:  (clearly surprised, he darts for the door as the
  elf returns the knife, missing him by inches)

  As the throwing knife stuck from the wall, quivering, the
assassin ran through the hallway, seeking the open space of
the den.  Belphanior, however, quickly ended that notion by
hurling a small endtable at the wiry fellow's feet, tripping
him up.

assassin:  (rolls to his feet as Belphanior charges)  The-
Belphanior:  (barrels into the man, knocking him into the
  kitchen's wooden bar)
assassin:  Urgh!  (having lost his breath, he staggers into
  the kitchen)
Belphanior:  Get back here!  (he snatches up a metallic pot
  and swings at his foe)
assassin:  Feh.  (he kicks the pot aside and grabs up a pair
  of carving knives)  Aha!
Belphanior:  (drops the pot, his hand aching)  Knives, eh?
  (he quickly pulls two smaller steak knives from a rack on
  the counter)  Come on, then!

  They began trading razor-sharp, lightning-fast slashes and
stabs.  Belphanior took another cut, this one in the arm,
but then managed to nick his opponent in the shoulder.  So
it continued, for perhaps thirty seconds; each combatant had
a dozen minor cuts on his body.

Belphanior:  You look tired.
assassin:  Bah.  Enough toying.  Prepare to die!  (he lunges)
Belphanior:  (correctly sees the feint for what it is, and
  doesn't fall for it, instead falling to the floor and
  using his leg to sweep the other's legs out from beneath
  him)  Oops!  (he buries one of his knives in the back of
  the assassin's neck)
assassin:  (gapes silently, in disbelief)
Belphanior:  You fucked up.
assassin:  (falls to the floor, a pool of blood spreading
  beneath him)
Belphanior:  Whew.  (he kicks the foe's blades away, and
  only then checks for a pulse, finding none)  Hmm, I sure
  am hungry...(he opens the refrigerator)



  Back at the police station, Peldor was ecstatic.  Not only
had he found all of his companion's missing items, but no
one else was nearby.  This facilitated the process of Peldor
stashing the goodies in his bag of holding, and it was only
moments later that he stood by the gate.

Peldor:  All done...everything checks out.
desk sergeant:  (buzzes the gate open)  Glad to hear it.
Peldor:  Thanks so much for your help.  (he turns to leave)
desk sergeant:  Wait a minute there!
Peldor:  (turns)  ...What?
desk sergeant:  You forgot to sign out.
Peldor:  Oh.  Silly me.  Been a rough day, you know.  (he
  produces a pen that he didn't have before)

  Mere moments later, Peldor left the evidence room, passing
a trio of well-dressed young fellows who were headed back
that way.

desk sergeant:  (looks up)  Whaddya need, guys?
fellow #1:  (holds up a badge)  Special Agent Proctor, FBI.
  We're here to claim some evidence.  (he hands the sergeant
  some paperwork)
desk sergeant:  (glances over the papers)  Funny...someone
  else was just looking at that stuff, too...
fellow #2:  That's classified evidence!  (ignoring the desk
  sergeant, he reaches over and buzzes himself in, and runs
  back to look for the evidence)
fellow #3:  (looks back, spotting Peldor's back turning a
  corner and vanishing from sight)  That officer?
desk sergeant:  Yeah, that was him-
fellow #3:  (runs back)  It's gone!  All of it!
fellow #1:  (looking in the direction that Peldor went)
  Let's go!





next time :  more chaos

notes     :  Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.
  Instead of going with the "there's good news and bad news"
  approach, I'll just dive right into it.  Due to copyright
  issues on the Internet, TSR, Inc. has forced sites that
  archive AD&D-related material to remove it.  This would
  be a fairly major disaster for most of us net-authors
  except that TSR has also made its own ftp site (listed
  right there, above) in conjunction with a company called
  MPG-Net.  I can archive whatever I want there, provided
  I include TSR's disclaimer at the top of my material.
    Here's the problem:  they also want me to remove all
  heavy profanity and violence ("something you'd like a
  13-year old" was the exact term used) just in case.
  While this alone would be a major undertaking, I've also
  realized that their copyright notice kinda implies that
  they have all rights to my work.  But hey, don't take my
  word for it...here's the disclaimer they want everyone
  to use in each and every item loaded on their site:

    "This item incorporates or is based on or derived from
  copyrighted material of TSR, Inc. and may contain
  trademarks of TSR.  The item is made available by MPG-Net
  under license from TSR, but is not authorized or endorsed
  by TSR.  The item is for personal use only and may not be
  published or distributed except through MPG-Net or TSR."

    Does this give them all rights to my work?  I see it as
  a half-and-half kind of thing, but until this is resolved
  (and it probably won't be) I'll simply not archive the
  Adventurers, on their site or anywhere.  Postings will
  continue, and I've made my own disclaimer, which appears
  at the top starting with this episode.  Let me repeat for
  the benefit of those who never read this section:

-->  NO MORE ftp site for my stories, starting with this one.

    Many thanks to Trent Fisher, who has been archiving my
  work on ftp.cs.pdx.edu for awhile now.  He has to erase
  the Adventurers, since I refuse to modify them.  Blame TSR
  for this if you must.
    While some good people on their end are trying to work
  with me here, I can't risk adding a TSR disclaimer to each
  episode if it might be legally binding, or if they might
  even _think_ it's legally binding.  I don't plan to sell
  these stories - never did - but I also don't want to ever
  see anyone else sell them.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++





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