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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
JenniferL

Hey look, I'm writing something!

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I like writing the Brits the best, because I imagine that their silly accents make my writing funnier.

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"Alright," Emp said. "But before we go, I've to play a few hands. Who knows when I'll be in Monte Carlo again and have this chance."

 

Tenan nodded. "Of course. I'll take this young man here to the bar and regale him with my tales of glory. We'll meet here again in, say an hour?"

 

"Yeah, that works."

 

Emp sat down at a poker table and ran his hands on the green felt. It had been some time since he played. Too bad Yveva wasn't here. The only thing better than winning at poker, was winning at poker with a hot chick looking admiringly at you.

 

He bought his chips and Emp picked up his cards. Then he casually glanced around the table. To his left, two girls. Foreign looking. Kinda cute and they knew it. He shook his head. Girls playing poker inevitably tried to use boobs as a distraction. He wasn't going to get caught like that. Not here.

 

To Emp's right, was a man. Attractive in a maniac sort of way. Dressed in an electric blue shirt, jeans, lots of gold jewelry.  Emp snorted, "Justen, you look like a pimp."

 

Diablos grinned at him and threw his chips on the table. "Don't hate the player, son. Hate the game."

 

"You on the pro circuit again?" Emp asked, placing his own bet.

 

"Not this time. My girl Alisha--You remember her? The one that stole my cat and slept with my friends? We came here for a visit, thought we'd take in the sights. I had an idea about banging Princess Grace, but then I recalled she was dead. Anyways, we fought. Something about me being an unfaithful cad. And then she took my plane ticket and went home without yours truly. I'm trying to get the money for a return flight at this game."

 

"Wow. Uh, you ever think of hooking up with a not-crazy woman?"

 

"No. Why?"

 

"No reason." Emp folded. "Look, I'll spot you some cash if you come with me. I'm on kind of a quest."

 

"A quest you say." Justen tossed a few more chips on the table and leered at the girls across from him. Both smiled in return, then frowned as if trying to take it back. "Alright, I'm in."

 

"Just like that? No questions asked?"

 

"No questions asked." Justen spread his cards on the table. "Full house." The girls angrily slapped their cards down as the dealer pushed the pile of chips towards Justen. He started gathering them up. "Besides, I might find that not-crazy girl you mentioned."

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This is great. You even mentioned the sticky tables of the psycho-liberal bars in my hometown!!!! I'm following this to the end, at least on my breaks from organic gardening and planning my trip to the next G20 summit ;)

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Justen better come in here and comment - that was awesome, Kath.  I'm in the mood for 2,576 parenthesis in a span of seven words.

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Tenan and Corki were at the bar. Justen was thoroughly intrigued by this and insisted on going there immediately. Bars were, after all, where he did his best work.

 

"Yeah, I'll be with you guys in just a minute." Emp said. "I need to check my messages.

 

A snatch of conversation floated back to him "...he wore a tutu?...Oh yes, a very pink frilly one. And that's not all..." It sounded like Corki and Tenan were becoming fast friends. Good for them.

 

Emp pulled out his phone. No messages from Segurant. This worried him. Then he had a sudden strike of inspiration. He texted Jason.

 

Jason: 'Sup dude?

 

Emp: Just checking on u. Everything cool?

 

Jason: Sigh. I'll reboot the server. That should bring the boards back up.

 

Emp: No Im talking about u. Kat says ur a robot.

 

Jason: I don't have time to talk right now. Boss calling. Ask Kathana what to do.

 

Emp sighed and put his phone away. That was pretty much how every conversation ever with Jason went. Was he a chatbot? Or does he just not pay attention? Either one was plausible. He put his phone away and went to the bar.

 

 

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.."And then they made me their chief...Er, Spymaster." Justen said. "Which was nice."

 

They'd been at the bar for an hour, listening to Justen's stories of insane, sexual escapades. Finally Emp tapped his watch. "We should get going. Find Jim Blonde and then figure out what's next."

 

"No need to worry." Tenan replied, waving his drink around carelessly. "I've already called her. She should be here any minute."

 

"You keep saying 'she'." Corki broke in. "Is Jim a knick name or something."

 

"Er. It's a something. One of those pranks gone wrong I think." Justen said, knocking back another shot.

 

"Yeah, I don't really remember. Just that it was funny." Emp agreed, raising his glass.

 

"I'm ALWAYS funny." Jim Blonde said, snatching the drink from Emp's lips and downing it at once. "Ugh. Shirley Temple? You're not serious." She tapped on the bar. "Martini. Shaken, not stirred." Turning back to the men, she straightened her tux and said "Well, I'm here boys. My man T-Bone here said you had a secret that needed finding. As I'm a SPY EXTRAORDINAIRE, I'm your man. Er, girl." Jim sipped her drink and grinned.

 

 

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Claire took the thumb drive and popped it into her computer. On her screen a little window came up with a single file inside. She opened it up in Notepad and began to scan it.

 

"Hmmm..." she said outloud to no one. "This isn't for a webpage it's something else. I wonder..."

 

Her hands clacked across the keyboard, searching, needing, finding. Information flowed at her through the screen, bathing her face in dim, blueish light. Windows popped open on her screen like popcorn. A map of the United States with spidery lines traced across it was displayed for no reason at all. It was just like in the movies when a hacker tries to hack something.

 

Finally, Claire was done with her Google search. The code in question wasn't meant to display webpages. Instead, it was meant to take them offline, directing the bandwith somewhere else. A final keystroke. "Ah ha," she whispered. "Now I know..."

 

The phone rang.

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Barm, Maj and Luckers walked onto the beach, looking for their assignment. Every where they looked, attractive, happy people were dancing, singing and playing hacky sack. They passed a group of bikini clad girls dancing and chanting "Disco! Disco! Good! Good!" It was exactly like the movie "

".

 

"So, uh, how do we find Nynaeve here?" Barm asked, looking around. Hitler had to have been out of his mind, he decided.

 

"Dunno, mate." said Luckers. "Let's look for a crowd. She might be there."

 

"Sounds good."

 

Finally, in a crowd of IDF Death Babes, they found her. Nyna was propped on a cushioned platform, wearing a low cut top and surrounded by admirers. "Oh, hello everyone." She said in her Russian accent. "What brings you to Israel?"

 

"You, actually." Luckers said. "We're on a bit of a quest and you're our next stop."

 

"Ooooh. I'm flattered." She cooed, delighted. "What kind of quest."

 

Luckers shot a glare at Barm. This was supposed to be his task. Barm was staring straight ahead at the ocean. "Well, there's a mystery at Dragonmount and Kathana said you could help us solve it."

 

"Sorry, not so good at puzzles." She flipped her hair back.

 

"Seriously. Kathana says Jason is some kind of robot built by Robert Jordan to take over the internet. Or something."

 

She laughed. "That's a new one. Alright, I'll come with you. On one condition. He has to say 'pretty please'." Nynaeve pointed at Barm.

 

He rolled his eyes. "Pretty. Please."

 

"Good enough for now."

 

"Fine, let's get going. Er... Where's Maj?" Luckers looked around. The Swedish mod had disappeared into the crowd. When was the last time they'd seen him? Could this be part of the conspiracy? He shook his head to clear it of paranoia.

 

They finally found him a bit down the beach. Someone had given him a guitar and a beer and he'd started

.

 

"Oh good." Maj smiled. "You're done sooner than I thought." He put the instrument down. "Shall we go then?"

 

"Where to?" Barm asked. "This is as far as Kathana's directions took us. So unless she", he cocked a thumb at Nyaneve "has any brilliant ideas, we're stuck here."

 

"Not necessarily." Nyna said. "I've got an idea of where we can go next."

 

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Crooning??? I am 100% rock'n Roll, lass. Possibly except for when I am drunk and picking some ladies u...Oh 8)

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Well, not as such. There's only so many foreign, sexy guitar playing singers on Youtube that I'm aware of though.

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Clicking her tongue in annoyance, Claire answered the phone. It was Elgee. "Claire, we need you back at the Tower immediately. The novices are rampaging and we need you to set them down."

 

"I can't." Claire said. "There's..." She couldn't tell Elgee about her discovery, about the true nature of the conspiracy, of Dragonmount. "I have something I need to take care of here first."

 

Her Keeper sighed. "Look, I know life happens. But we need you. Things don't go so well without the Amyrlin around. It took us months to repair all the holes in the walls after Kathana left. Half the mattresses are still at the bottom of the stairs." As Elgee spoke, Claire became aware of a sharp buzzing sound in the phone. It was as if Beelzebub himself had opened the gates of Hell and released a swarm of bees.

 

"I promise, I'll be back as soon as I can...Elgee, what is that SOUND? It's awful!"

 

"Oh that? The World Cup. You can hear it all over the damned country." Elgee replied. "Alright, I'll take care of things. You just... Just come home soon, okay?"

 

"I promise."

 

"You better!" Elgeee muttered, then hung up.

 

Claire replaced the phone in the cradle, the settled back into the couch. The thumb drive Joram had given her was in her hand. She looked at it. "So much trouble caused by one line of code..." she whispered.

 

The doorbell rang. "GODDAMMIT!" Claire yelled at no one in particular. "Why can't I be left alone to muse out loud about this amazing discovery that I've made and told no one about yet?" She got up and walked to the door. "It's almost as if a lazy writer were doing this as a cheap source of narrative tension for a poorly written and ill advised story posted on the internet."

 

Claire answered the door. "You? No!" she yelled seeing a gun pointed at her. It fired once. No one in her neighborhood noticed, because she lived in Texas and people fire guns all the time there. It's crazy. Death took her. And then he took the thumb drive, because he's a dick like that.

 

 

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Sloshing a drink around, Jim announced grandly "To discover what you seek, dear Maec--er, Empy, we shall require...a Children of the Light bus tour!"

 

"Yes!" Tenan shouted "A bus tour! That's exactly what we need!"

 

"A bus tour to where?" Corki asked, mystified.

 

"To the answers!" Ten and Jim shouted in unison.

 

"That's not actually a place, you know."

"Then to Kenya!"

 

"No, it's brilliant!" Justen said. "We'll go on a grand CoL bus tour, just like the days of yore. We're just missing one thing..." He thumped Empy on the chest. "Where's your wife? We need her to make us snacks."

 

"Uh, home I guess..."

 

"Ah ha!" Yelled Jim. "Quick, to the bus! We'll pick up Bertha on the way!" She rushed towards the door.

 

"I call dibs on tootling the horn!" Justen called out after her as he moved to follow.

 

Everyone else left as well, leaving Empy with the bar bill. It cost more than his first car.

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so does this mean were gonna learn who Asmo's kille is aswell?? 

 

*eats popcorn and waits anxiously for more*

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Barm, Luckers, Maj and Nynaeve settled themselves into Owen's parlor. It was a cozy room, cluttered with the sort of knicknacks and beloved objects that accumulate with a full and cherished life.  Barm rested easily on a worn sofa, the floral pattern on it worn smooth and indistinct by years of good use. This was the sort of room a man could spend a lifetime in. 

 

Gently, Barm nudged aside a model train set to make room for his tea cup. Owen moved around the room filling cups. "I appreciate the visit" his host said, offering Nyn the sugar bowl. "But I'm quite afraid that you've wasted your time coming here. I have zero interest in your mad quest."

 

"That's what I'd thought you'd say." Barm replied, sipping his tea. "But we didn't really know where else to go and it seemed a safe assumption that you'd be here."

 

"Indeed." Owen said, moving aside a stack of magazines so that he could sit on an ottoman. "I must say that I'm surprised that so many of you that I thought had better sense," he looked sharply at Nynaeve, who had the grace to blush slightly, "have found themselves caught up in this madness. For one, we have only Kathana's word that there is anything amiss at all. For another, if Jason is truly a figment of someone's imagination, what does it change? Dragonmount has done quite well for over a decade. We can continue to manage our own affairs."

 

"You don't want to know the truth?" Maj asked, raising his eyebrow.

 

"I think the truth is far more simple than an elaborate conspiracy to fool Wheel of Time fans. I suspect that Kathana has engineered this whole game for some goal of her own. And you played into her hands by accepting those envelopes. No," Owen shook his head. "I won't be her playmate today."

 

He stood. "You are welcome to stay here as long as you like, but I have work to do. Make yourselves comfortable."

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Claire answered the door. "You? No!" she yelled seeing a gun pointed at her. It fired once. No one in her neighborhood noticed, because she lived in Texas and people fire guns all the time there. It's crazy. Death took her. And then he took the thumb drive, because he's a dick like that.

 

LMAO - I laughed at the Texas comment, and then proceeded to choke on Mountain Dew at the last sentence.  Don't stop this story, Kath.  Ever.

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"All aboard!" Tenan yelled, tootling the horn on the CoL bus.

 

"Hey! I called dibs!" Justen complained. "Fine..." he muttered, crossing his arms and slumping in his seat.

 

Empy shook his head and grinned. This was just like old times! Just like the glory days of Dragonmount when everyone was happy and never fought and the boards stayed up all the time. There was no way he was over romanticizing the DM of his youth, the way most people dream fondly of their college days, (or high school, for those of that peaked early and greatest achievement remains that time you made Mrs. Foster cry in second period Spanish). Nope. Nuh uh.

 

Carefully, Tenan swung the bus out into the parking lot of the casino. French people (people who live in Monte Carlo are French, right? I can't be bothered to look it up right now) leaped out of the way, shaking their tiny, cheese clutching fists and yelling "Sacre bleu!"  He waved cheerfully at them and tootled the horn again. Never once did anyone question how the enormous, hot pink, Children of the Light touring bus just happened to be in the parking lot of a European casino.

 

Jim Blonde called from her seat near the back. "Alright everyone! First it's off to Philadelphia to pick up Bertha and some snacks. Then to England, to pick up some friends I promised to go on holiday with, and then..." She paused dramatically. Empy found himself twisting around in his seat to look at her properly. "...And then off to the only person who knows what Robert Jordan knew!"

 

"Question." Corki leaned across the aisle to speak with Empy. "Why do they keep calling your wife Bertha? I thought her name was Yveva. Or..." a slow realization spread over his face. "You don't have TWO wives, do you? That's immoral!"

 

"Oh no, nothing like that all." Empy shook his head. "See, back in the old days, you had to have a different name for each Org you joined. So I'm Emperor for the Seanchan, Maec in the Children, etc. So Yveva was Bertha in the CoL. She was the Head Chef of the Light and Kathana was her Scullion." Warming to his subject, because Emp loved to go on and on about how much funnier DM used to be, he continued. "We had a rule for awhile that if Kathana joined any Org other than the White Tower, she had to be the lowest rank. So Justen made her Scullion..."

 

"And a damn fine Scullion she was! The Dome's Kitchens never looked so shiny!" Justen roused from his snit fit long enough to proclaim.

 

"And then when Paityr was Org Leader, he demoted her several times for her fine service. First to Spit Monkey, and then finally to Wolfkin."

 

"That's amazing." Corki said, "But I actually lost interest about twenty minutes ago." He leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. "Wake me when we get somewhere interesting."

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The bus pulled up in an empty parking lot. Home. Well, not really. Home was Ohio now, but Philadelphia had been where Emp met Yveva, had married her, and spent the first, blushing year of marriage with her. Where ever Yveva was, that was Empy's home.

 

And home was mad at him.

 

His wife stood in the parking lot of their apartment complex, her hands on her hips, frowning at him. "And where have YOU been?" She pointed a small, accusing finger at him. "No phone call, no note, not even a FACEBOOK STATUS UPDATE???? I've been worried sick about you!"

 

For a moment, Empy tried to think of an explanation. There wasn't one. so he did the next best thing and kissed her mid-rant. That usually shut her up. "Hi honey," he said breathlessly. "I missed you."

 

She leaned against him. "Don't think you're off the hook for this." Yveva muttered.

 

"Oh, I don't." he replied. "Hey guys, I need to talk to my wife alone. We'll be right back." He was met with lewd catcalls and whistles from the bus. "Guys! It's not like that!" Justen called out a very filthy suggestion that Emp actually considered for half a moment until he realized they didn't have a porch swing handy and they were certainly out of bananas. He shook his head. "Whatever guys, we'll be back in five."

 

Upstairs, they sat at the kitchen table. Around them were boxes, anything that hadn't been packed up and moved to Ohio yet. "First off," Emp said, "I'm sorry. I should have called and explained. I just got caught up in the moment." Yveva stared at him flatly. He sighed, "Second. Something weird is going on a Dragonmount. Well, weirder anyways." Emp added when she snorted.

 

Emp told her everything. About Kathana breaking into his house, about the meeting, about the trip to Monte Carlo, about meeting the others. He even told her his suspicions about Segurant. "Honestly, I think he's dead. I think who ever is responsible for this killed him to hide their secret."

 

"This is the most half baked excuse for anything you've ever come up with. It's worse than the time you said 'World of Warcraft made me paint the walls with ketchup'." Emp's face fell. "But I believe you." He sighed in relief. "You're still in trouble. But we'll talk about that later. Right now, i have snacks to prepare. We have a bus tour to go on."

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