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"Well, if we can't convince Owen to come with us," Barm said, setting down his empty tea cup "Then we might as well move on. Anyone have Taymist's address? We can try her next, I guess."


Before anyone could reply, Barmacral heard an awful commotion outside in the street. A horn tootled merrily and there was a knock at the door. Luckers got up to go look out the window. "Guys, you have got to come see this."


Barm stood and pushed his way into the small crowd of DM staff peering through Owen's lace curtains. An enormous pink touring bus with the words "NORWAY? MORE LIKE SNOREWAY!" sprayed across the sides in lurid yellow. Owen stood on the lawn, shaking his fist and yelling at the driver. He recognized one of the men emerging from the bus, dressed in an electric blue, button down shirt and a giant fur hat: Justen Diablos. "What on earth..?" He murmured.


A man and woman that no one recognized ran out of the bus, clutching a gigantic butterfly net, which they manuvered over Owen's head and used to force him onto the bus. Owen struggled up the stairs, spluttering protests all the while.


"I don't know who Justen's hanging out with now, but I think they just kidnapped the RP Admin." Maj said.


"Oh my..." Nyn said worriedly. "We need to go out there and put a stop to this!" She strode angrily out the door, large breasts bouncing with purpose. "You!" she shouted. "With the net! Unhand him at once!" The rest of the group followed her uncertainly, unsure of how to proceed here. 


"Oh, uh. Hi." Said Empy leaning out the window.


"What are they DOING?" Nyn screeched. "Let Owen go!"


"Look, I'm just as surprised as you are. They said we were just picking up a friend."


"Of course we did!" said the blonde, tuxedo clad woman. "If we told you we planned to kidnap someone, you'd never have said yes to it."


"Jim's right," said the man in the coveralls. "You've become such a killjoy since you started working in banking. 'Oooh! I've got responsibilities now! Oooh! I can't be caught committing felonies!' Killjoy."


Corki popped his head out the window next to Empy's. "For when the inevitable inquest begins, I want it on the record that I had no knowledge of their plans and that I don't even know those two." Behind him, they could see Taymist tied up with ropes and a handkerchief shoved in her mouth.  This was apparently not the first stop on this tour today.


Emp sighed. "Whatever."


Tenan scuttled back to his driver's seat, slapping Justen's hands away from the horn. "All aboard!" he shouted.


"No, I'm not going anywhere until you explain. And we're NOT kidnapping anyone else!"


"Fine." Jim rolled her eyes. "Who is the one person who knows what Robert Jordan did?"


"That's easy," volunteered Luckers. "Maria Simons. She was his assistant."


"Yes, but kid...I mean, talking to her won't be nearly so funny." Jim continued. "We need to go straight to the source!"


"Harriet?" Empy said scratching at his bald head.


"Ugh. No, not Harriet. There's a bit of an arrest warrant out for Justen in the fine city of Charleston. We can't go there."


"Gee, I wonder why." snarked Corki. "You all seem like such responsible citizens."


Jim ignored him. "No, we're going straight to the heart of the matter! Provo, Utah!"


Emp slapped his head with his hand. They were all going to end up on an episode of America's Most Wanted.


"Well," said Barm. "This isn't any stupider than anything we've come up with. Come on." Without turning to look, he started for the bus. With a shrug, Maj joined him.


Luckers hesitated. "Eh, why the hell not? It's not he's going to be doing a signing tour in Australia any time soon."


"But...but..." Nyn pouted adorably. "These are CRIMINALS!"


"I prefer the term 'gentleman thief', my dear girl." said Jim Blonde as she mounted the bus. "Except I'm not a gentleman and I'm a SPY EXTRAORDINAIRE!, not a thief. Come on! Tenan won't wait forever."


Torn between her desire for self preservation, her concern for Owen and a healthy curiosity about how much worse things could get, Nyn wavered. Tenan reved up the engine and tootled the horn again. Justen shouted "GODDAMMIT! THAT'S MINE!"


"Fine, I'll come along." She said "But I get to sit in front!"

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"She's dead, Jim." Nyn said flatly, laying Claire's hand across her body gently.


"Oh." said the spy, dropping her burlap sack to the ground. "Well, I guess we don't need this anymore."


"You were going to kidnap the Amyrlin Seat?" Empy looked at Jim in disbelief.


"Hey," Justen spoke up in his friends' defense. "Kidnapping the Amyrlin is a proud and glorious DM tradition. I'm more amazed that Claire hadn't been kidnapped yet. We used to kidnapped Kathana an average of every six months."


"Was this before or after you made her your scullion?" Corki asked.


"Uh, both. During. Look, it doesn't matter. Clearly, whatever secret Claire's investigation stumbled onto was important enough for someone to kill her." Justen said sharply. "So obviously, SOMETHING is going on."


Emp slumped into a nearby armchair. As madcap schemes go, this one had been going quite well. There'd only been some minor kidnapping and he was reasonably sure no one was pressing charges. But murder? No one ever died on CoL bus tour! This was far, far too serious.


"Look," he said slowly. "I have no idea what's going on. None of us do. I feel like I'm being manipulated at every turn and that there's no actual answer to any of this. It's like playing a game and no one's bothered to explain the rules." There was some murmur of agreement from his companions.  "But whatever else happens, we owe it to Claire to discover the truth. She died for a reason. And I need to know what that is."

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The bus pulled up to a modest home in a nondescript neighborhood. "Is this the right place?" Barm asked.


"Of course it is!" exclaimed Jim "Am I not a....SPY EXTRAORDINAIRE!? I have ways of knowing things."


"Okay, just checking. Don't get so bent out of shape."


Barm, Empy, Jim and Justen were the agreed upon emissaries. The reason was that they had run out of the bus first screeching "MINE! I'LL DO IT!" at the top of their lungs before anyone could react. The rest sat on the bus in bemused silence.


Standing on the front steps, Emp knocked boldly. The door swung open to reveal a tall woman with dirty blonde hair and a chubby toddler playing around her knees. She looked at them, Jim in her tuxedo, Justen the pimp, and Barm and Empy, who let's face it, don't fit the "normal" mode either.  The giant pink bus park askew on her front lawn probably wasn't helping their first impressions. "Oh." she said, "You must be here to see Brandon. Wait here.


The door shut, the opened again. A tall man, in jeans and a brown button up shirt replaced the woman. "Hi guys." Brandon Sanderson said. "Oh, I know you two!" He snapped his fingers at Barm and Empy. "From a signing right? And you brought friends. To my house..." His smile wavered. "Uh, how did you know where I live?"


"Because I am a...Mmmph!" Barm slapped a hand over Jim's mouth. This was not the time.


"We just need to ask you a question, Brandon." Emp broke in. "Then we'll be gone."


The author sighed, "Robert Jordan killed Asmodean. Do you have any books you need me to sign? Otherwise, I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave."


"Uh, no." Emp said. "But--"


"Then I'll see you guys on the next signing tour. Bye!" With that, Brandon closed the door.


Not to be deterred, Emp knocked again. The door opened part way and a single eye peeped out through the crack. "Every minute I spend talking to you is an minute I'm not writing TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT." And then it shut again. They could hear the loud scraping of a lock behind it.


Dejected, the small group headed back to the bus. "I can't say I blame the guy." Barm said "I mean, it does look pretty bad, a group of unruly WoT fans showing up on his doorstep unannounced."


"Bah!" said Justen. "He should enjoy his fame! Get himself some fast women and loose cars...Or is it the other way around?"


"It doesn't matter." said Emp. "We're an impasse now. I don't think we have many options."


"Also, Owen nearly escaped from the net driving through Oklahoma City." Jim said helpfully. "But don't dispair! For am I not a SPY--"


"What is it, Jim?"


Jim grumped. "You blokes take away all my fun. It's very easy. What does Brandon Sanderson love more than anything else?"


"His family?" ventured Barm.


"The goodwill of his fans?" said Empy.


"Nope." She held up a shiny foil packet, emblazoned with elves and swords and wizardry. "Magic cards."

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I just want to point out, that it is very wrong and creepy to be writing fanfic ABOUT an author, instead of with that author's characters.  It's going to make writing the inevitable Empy/Barm/Maj slash scenes even more difficult.

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Ia there any way a flying goat can be involved in Empy's death scene?


He'll understand, and likely giggle in that girly way of his.  ;D

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From his basement lair, lit only by the dull glow of a computer screen, Brandon heard a knock at the door. He ignored it.  It happened again, this time louder. "Pemberly, can you get that?" he shouted up the stairs. No answer. She must have taken the boys to the park, or something. Sighing, he quickly saved his work and put his computer into a password protected sleep mode. You can never be too cautious when working on a Wheel of Time novel.


Upstairs, Brandon opened the front door and blinked at the sudden rush of sunlight. No one was there. He looked around, trying to find the kids who had doorbell ditched him. A suspiciously giggling bush would give them away.


Instead, something shiny on the ground attracted his attention. A foil booster pack of Magic cards. Ooh. I must've dropped these, I guess. He bent to pick it up and examine it. Then he saw another pack, a little further down the path. "Man, I can't believe I dropped these..." he muttered to himself. There were little foil packs of cards all down the path, out to the road.


Brandon followed them down the street until they came to an old, beat up windowless van with "FREE PUPPIES MAGIC CARDS!" sprayed on the side in dripping red paint. "Free Magic cards? This must be my lucky day!" He went into the van.


It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the cool darkness of the van. "Uh, hello?" he said uncertainly. Just then, the doors slammed shut as a giant butterfly net closed over his head. "What? AHH!" he yelled.


"Quick Tenan! Hit the gas!" Someone yelled.


The van's tires screeched and Brandon had an impression of falling bodies as the van lurched down the street. He struggled for a bit with the net, then gave up. He was an author and college professor, not Indiana Jones. "Look, I don't know what this about. But if you let me go now, I won't press charges. We'll say it was a prank."


"Oh, we'll let you go. Don't worry. We'll even have you back before anyone notices you're missing. But we REALLY need you to answer some questions for us. We'll even let you keep the Magic cards as an apology." In the dim light, Brandon recognized the bald man who had knocked on his door earlier.


"You guys aren't from Theoryland, are you? Did Matt Hatch put you up to it?"


"Ah, no. We're from Dragonmount." Emp rubbed at his head again. "Once we get to the others, we'll explain."


"Dragonmount? Do Jason and Kathana know about this?" Emp barked a laugh. "Heh. Oh man. How do I answer that? Just wait, we're almost there."


The van pulled up in a parking lot of an empty shopping center, where they had stashed the CoL touring bus. As Brandon clambered out of the back of the van, he was quickly surrounded by DMers mumering, "Wow. I can't believe this. You really did it. Mr. Sanderson it's an honor..." Luckers especially had a big grin on his face and wouldn't stop shaking Brandon's hand.


"Yeah, normally I'd be happy to meet my fans," Brandon said, taking his hand back from Luckers. "But you did kidnap me and you're holding me against my will in what looks like an abandoned Wal-Mart parking lot." A sudden realization struck him. "Wait, none of you guys have read Misery, right?"



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This is just under 10K words now, which means I will probably have written my first novella when it's done. I'm pretty sure I won't need 30K to tell this story. Too bad it's a ridiculously unmarketable self insertion forum fanfiction.

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I'm sure Verbal would pay you a lot of money if you published it. Me, I'd just kidnap you with a butterfly net until you gave me a free copy.

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Doesn't matter - it's hysterical and we love it.  ;)


You only say that because I haven't made a poorly written caricature of you yet.

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Well if things work out properly, you'll meet me in April and then have plenty of material to make fun of me.  I mean, I haven't even MET Emp or Barm, and I can make fun of them with ease.

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this story is great Kath :)  DM-fic's are great great, i love that parts with Sanderson in them though.  you made me lol at work about the magic card bit


you should send this to him once he's done, a little bit a brilliant humor filled light reading is something everyone enjoys

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I'm pretty sure we're all better off if Brandon never finds out that I write stories about him being easily lured into vans by Magic cards. Ever.

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Brandon scratched his head and looked baffled. "What?"


"We need to know if Robert Jordan ever used the alias 'Jason Denzel' online. And if he did, why? And who's maintaining that account now?" Majsju told him. Brandon had a small audience as they sat around the open doors of the van in the parking lot. He was perched in the back, looking at all of them warily.




"Er, yeah. We know how it sounds..."


"It sounds ridiculous."


"We didn't come up with it." Maj protested weakly.


"No, you say Kathana did. We are talking about the Kathana that I know, right? Jennifer? The con rat?"




"I think I want to go home now. Who's van is this?"


"Mine." said Justen. "I just let them borrow it." No one asked the glaring question of why Justen had a rape van in a state he didn't live in. It seemed best not to know.


"Great. Someone hand me those Magic cards and then you can drive me back." He made as if to stand up. No one moved.


"Sorry dude." Empy said with real regret. "But one of our friends died because of this. So no matter how insane it sounds, we're getting to the bottom of this. And that means picking your brain."


Brandon sighed. "Fine." He sat back down.  "Now, I was honest when I said that I don't know anything about this. And if I did know something, I couldn't tell you anyways because of my agreement with the Jordan estate. But that doesn't mean the clues aren't there. Anyone have something I can write on?"


From somewhere, Luckers produced a whiteboard and a set of markers for him.


"Ah, perfect!" Brandon started writing as he talked. "Let's assume, for the sake of not sounding like crazy people, that Jason Denzel did, at some point, exist. I'm pretty sure that an animatronic WoT fan would be better at Magic than he is. So this means that he probably no longer exists. Has anyone tried to contact him recently?"


Emp raised his hand. "I texted him a couple days ago. I got the same responses Jason always gives 'Busy now', 'I'll reboot the server', etc."


"Ah ha ha!" Brandon cackled. "Canned responses, you say?"


"Well, yeah."


"Excellent. Well, not excellent. It means he really is dead." Brandon's face fell momentarily. "Anyways! If Jason's dead, then who stands to profit from it?"


They all thought for a moment. "Kathana, I guess." Yveva said. "She's been around longer than anyone. If Jason was going to will DM to someone, it would be her."


"Very true!" Brandon wrote MOTIVE across his white board, then giant equal sign and then KATHANA. For added effect, he drew a little stick figure of a girl with long hair. "Not bad, huh?"


"Uh, sure." Empy said.


"I knew it!" said Owen from under his butterfly net. "I knew it all along! Didn't I tell you all that this is Kathana's scheme? She's taking over the site and you all played into her hands! What dupes!"


"I guess you kidnap all the smart guys with butterfly nets, huh?" Brandon said with a wry smile.


"I wasn't involved!" said Corki. "And this is all fine and dandy, but what does it mean? Who killed Claire?"


"Oh my god...If Kathana killed Claire...The way would be clear for her to become Amyrlin again." Nyneave said slowly.


"Oh come on." said Emp. "We aren't seriously considering that Kathana murdered someone so she could be Queen of all Internetz again?"


"It makes more sense than not." Luckers replied. "We know she gets a little...extreme sometimes."


"Double motive!" said Brandon, putting little exclamation points and a star on the whiteboard. "Now, let's talk opportunity. Who here has seen Kathana lately?"


"Well, we all saw her at that meeting...", Barm said.


"All of you?"


"Well, the Admins."


"Have you seen her since? Do you know where she was when Claire died?"




Brandon scrawled OPPORTUNITY across his whiteboard and drew a connecting line to his stick figure of Kathana. "Well, that's all I've got for you. I'll take those Magic cards and a ride home, please."



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Late at night, the CoL touring bus sped along the lonely highway carrying the somber group to the city that all WoT fans must visit eventually: Atlanta.


"I can't believe it." Emp said again. "I just can't believe it." Most of the DMers on the bus were asleep, the events of the day's felonies having exhausted them. Emp and Barm sat in the back of the bus talking softly.


"Me neither." Barm admitted. "But Brandon was right. I can't think of another explanation for the deaths of Jason and Claire."


"You know, if she'd just asked, I think we would have given it all back to her. I'd kill to not be Community Admin anymore. Do you have any idea how much email I get? More than God. Why commit murder?"


"I don't know, I just don't know."


They sat in bleak silence for a few minutes, staring out the window. The only break in the inky blackness was the occasional road sign or street light that flashed briefly, then was gone.


"I think she killed Segurant." Emp whispered softly.


"What?" Barm sat up suddenly in his seat.


"Yeah, he's missing too. None one else noticed, because he's not on the boards much. But...those two are never far from each other. He wasn't at the meeting and he's not answering his cell."


"Christ." Bram let out a breath. "Her own husband... Has she gone mad?"


"I don't know. Maybe."


"What are we going to do?"


"Confront her, I guess. Give her a chance to defend herself. Maybe this is all a misunderstanding."


"Maybe" said Barm sceptically.


In the wee hours of the morning, they pulled up to a brown house with terrible, ugly bushes in the corner of a suburban Atlanta. Everyone but Tenan, the driver, was still asleep, so Emp told him to take a nap and they'd continue the investigation.


As the gray dawn light crept over the trees, Barm knocked on the door. "Why the hell is their door purple?"


"Dunno." said Emp. "It does seem out of character. Are we sure this is the right house?"


"We'll find out."


The door struggled open and revealed a muscular, barrel chested Asian man. He appeared to be wearing a panda on his head.


"Jimmy?" Emp exclaimed. "It's great to see you! We thought you were dead!"


Segurant frowned. "Uh, no. Why would you think that?"


"Long story man. Can we come in? We need to talk."


"Sure," Segurant gestured them in. "But be quiet. Jenn's sleeping upstairs."

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If I lock it, then no one will be able to tell me how awesome I am in between updates.


I just came across this entire thread and I'm enjoying it immensely... but you may owe me for a new keyboard after I read this and sprayed ginger ale across it. It was the simple sincerity of the line that got me, I think.


And, for the record - you ARE awesome.

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I'm sure Verbal would pay you a lot of money if you published it. Me, I'd just kidnap you with a butterfly net until you gave me a free copy.


On the plus side, I could represent you at your arraignment

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I'm sure Verbal would pay you a lot of money if you published it. Me, I'd just kidnap you with a butterfly net until you gave me a free copy.


On the plus side, I could represent you at your arraignment


Of course, who else would I have represent me?

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