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Do you still think GalCiv 1 is fun even with GalCiv II out?
758 votes
1- Yes
2- No


T h e - C a r i E l f - f a n c l u b
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#200  by Citizen Parable - 6/13/2003 3:22:20 AM

I'm a recent convert to the CariElf fanclub.... she saved my massively glitching GalCiv earlier... she spent a good deal of time talking to me, and coming up with ideas, and checking things out for me. She was a real saviour.... and if she reads this thread, Thanks CariElf.

                
#201  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/13/2003 4:35:33 AM

DIVINE SECRETS

Introduction - Myths of the Metaverse

Is there life in the metaverse? Take one look and the answer is clear. There is life, and it spreads at an incredible rate. No-one knows how it started, only that it exists, and has brought about many different species. Some are rare, others exist in every galaxy. Take the humans, for example. They have dominated countless galaxies throughout the metaverse. Yet they have not figured out how to unite their forces - any ship attempting to travel between galaxies was destroyed. Empires were formed, but with nothing more than communication between them, their power could never be realized.

Eventually, a method was found to send very light ships to a new galaxy, at great expense, and this was used in the human test of maturity. A young human was sent to another galaxy, with only a survey ship and a few loyal followers. Their mission: domination. Only then could they claim the title "Overlord". Some aim for quiet galaxies, others aim for galaxies filled with ferocious AI-liens. Some empires have used this technology for combat between galaxies, but the most they can manage with such limited forces is a beer raid. Only a few humans can claim the title "Overlord". The rest will remain in one galaxy, working on their assigned tasks, ignorant of the metaverse. Overlords call these people "Peons".

And then, there are the Gods. No-one knows what else to call them. The legends say that they have established the rules of the universe, and they have often helped overlords in dire straits. However, while it is believed that they are blocking most travel between the empires, no-one dares challenge them. The legends say they have the power to destroy an entire galaxy, overlord and all, if they attempt to bend certain rules of reality. No-one doubts this power. These gods have developed followings all over the metaverse, not least among the overlords...



                    
#202  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/13/2003 4:54:04 AM

Initiation

The swamps of Skowbo II were particularly nasty this time of year, but the small group of uniformed men who were looking up in the sky were not bothered. They had worked here for years. As one of them pinpointed the approaching shuttle, they walked to the landing pad.

"Well, here we go again."

The men approached the landing pad, and stood to attention as the shuttle landed. As the door opened, one of the men stepped forward, cleared his throat, and screamed:

"MOVE IT! MOVE IT! OFF THE SHUTTLE NOW! FORM UP IN ONE RANK! DON'T MESS AROUND OR I'LL MESS YOU AROUND!"

A bunch of startled-looking people were pushed off the shuttle, and into a dodgy-looking line.

"Welcome to the CariElf Recruit Training Centre, maggots! I am your recruit instructor, Sergeant I.M. Hard! You know why you're here! Not to worship, anyone can do that! You are here to serve, and not serve anyone, but CariElf Herself!"

"Many of you will not make it. There are so many ways to fail it's not funny! But for those who succeed, there is the greatest honor imaginable. You will serve the needs of CariElf as a member of the Secret Order while she is among us. There are jobs for drivers, bodyguards, cooks, agents, butlers, and many more, but they all have something in common. They need a strong body and a strong spirit. You could be called upon to defend Her glory at a moment's notice, no matter what job you take! Never forget that! You were all selected from the civvie fan club because of your strong faith. Here, we will test your bodies." The sarge put on a leery smile as he said this. "Corporals, take over!"

As the corporals started giving directions, the sarge saw someone watching nearby. He marched up, and saluted.

"Good morning, Mr President!"

MM77 waved off the salute.

"Easy, EASY SEARGE! i'm just here for a larf... you comin to the PARTY, or wot?"

"No sir, I'll be busy with the new recruits for a while."

"haha, your loss than! AVAGOODONE!"

With that MM77 headed off in the direction of a nearby temple.
A few recruits looked wistfully at the lights coming from the temple, but the sarge put them back in their place.


(This post is dedicated to the real Sargent I.M.HARD. Well, he was a bombardier last I saw him, but he ought to be a sarge by now. Okay, that wasn't his name, but he DID use it on some paperwork!)

                    
#203  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/13/2003 5:12:19 AM

The Party



The party, put simply, was going off. Many of the most powerful vice-presidents in the Fan Club (all overlords) were there, including the famous Christopher Packer, and their incredible wealth meant no luxury was spared. Secret Order members were serving drinks, and W.C.a.r.i.E.l.f. was blaring out on massive speakers all through the temple. Many human overlords wNot all of these overlords were human, since some aliens had managed to convince humans to work for them, and dominated their own galaxies. One of these appeared to be a simple terran ape, but spoke with an amazing wisdom. Another, from a species best described as "psychic purple ducks", was known simply as TheQuack, and was responsible for the Secret Order. There were even rumours that the President himself was a droid.



None of that mattered here, however, for everyone was united in praise of CariElf. CariElf had even visited before, and had been amused by MM77's stunts with a teleporter. Some other Gods had appeared, just quitely watching the party with a smile and a beer. The Gods had many responsibilites to attend to, but the party raged on even after they had left. Eventually, many of the VPs started to leave, but a few stayed on. When someone found a bottle of tequila, it started to go downhill. They borrowed some fusion blasters from the Secret Order servants, and started blowing up each other's statues "for a laff", as MM77 put it.



Later... much later..



Quack opened the door, and started breathing in some clean air to clear his lungs. He decided a swim in Skowbo's Death Marshes was just was he needed. Actually, it was a bad idea since the marsh slime would do nothing to clear his lungs, but he was too smashed to care.



As he tried floating on the swamp, he saw a figure approaching. He assumed it was another VP headed from the party, and decided to play a prank on him. Most people loved his "Psychic Purple Duck of Skowbo" act...




[Message Edited]

                    
#204  by Veteran LordTheRon - 6/13/2003 5:37:36 AM

Haven't been here for a few days (shame on me, busy, busy, busy) but WHAT a great thread this is

And our beloved CariElf deserves it of course, for the best gamesupport ever (and for being extremely nice and charming too

You keep going girl!

         
#205  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 5:38:56 AM


----------------------INTERMISSION--------------------



----------------------- PROMOTION --------------------






BATTLE SHIP VICE PRESIDENT TheQuack







The Battle ship is the first capital ship specifically for COMBAT.



We have enterd a new phase of GALICTIC WARFARE!







..............
[Message Edited]

        
#206  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/13/2003 6:00:14 AM

Security Breach

Sargeant Hard was on his way to the recruits' morning lesson, and saluted one of the VP's as he staggered past. The VP was too drunk to see who it was, but just carried on. "Must've been some party", he thought to himself. As he walked past the temple, the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly stood up. Something didn't feel right. Hard went up the stairs, deftly avoiding the shattered statues, and opened the door.

As soon as he saw the usual guards were missing, he drew his sidearm, and radioed in for reinforcements. Then, without hesitating, he headed in. As he approached the central room, he saw a flash of movement, swung towards it, and

"What teh? Dont point taht GUN at meh! I'm yer presee - prazi - PREZIDENT, thats it!"

Hard relaxed slightly, but was still worried.

"What's going on? Where are the guards?"

MM77 was fired up, and clapped his hands excitedly. "oh, us vee-pees wanted to DO something, so we sent thme away. we've got the place LOCKED DOWNE, eh, Chrissie?"

The other VP blearily looked up. "Ah, it's all good, really. You really ought to try a drop of this wine, you know what the doctors say about it..." He suddenly noticed the bottle was empty, and slumped back into a peaceful slumber.

MM77 was still going strong, but. "wow its lik my brane is ALIV im thinkig so muche good stuf, this ROX! I ROOL! What a prez! She loves ME, yeah, yeah, YEAH, SHE LOVES ME, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!!"

He went into an air-guitar solo.. but Hard shook him out of it.

"OHH @%&&#! !! Your way moore annoyin than the last guy..."

"What guy?"

"Oh, SHE came back, SHE came back to see my DANCE! I was so GOOOOD... the guy, he came when she was here, and we all went to see her and sing sum MUSAK, but she had to do... do... what did she have to DOOOO??"

"I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention", the other VP said.

"Well... it mustve bene IMPORTNT! AnwWAYZ, she went away, and the other guy said he had to go. We lent him some corvette keys, he lookid like SUHC n HONNEST GUY! HEHehe, they woz YOUR KEYS! HAHAHAHH HOW FUNNYS THAT?"

Hard felt like smashing MM77, but suddenly realized something could be terribly, terribly wrong.

"DID HE SEE HER?" he demanded.

"Oh, yeah, he said seh was COOL, realy COOL, but I said he's wrong, shes not cool, shes HOTT!"

Hard immediately left and marched outside, where some Secret Order members were patrolling the temple grounds. One of his corporals walked up with a downcast expression, and the sarge grabbed him.

"Get in touch with Launch Control! I want my corvette's course tracked! I want security footage of the party in my office right now! Inform TheQuack we've got a Code Black!"

The corporal remained silent.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING STANDING AROUND, CORPORAL? GET MOVING!"

"It's... it's Quack, sarge. They - they just found him in the
marsh."

The sarge saw some Order members carrying a stretcher. He ran up, took one look, and had to turn away. The corporal started speaking.

"The doctors say there's nothing they can do. The cybernetic experts say there's a possibility - but it's risky. He'll never be the same..."

"It's the best we can do. Send him there."

As the men with the stretcher hurried off, and the corporal started giving orders to identify and track the intruder, Hard looked up in the sky and mulled events over in his head. Whoever this intruder was, he had brutally attacked the unarmed Head of the Secret Order of Cari-Elf in cold blood. This alone made him a threat, but there was an even greater danger. He now possessed a piece of knowledge that had the power to tear apart the entire metaverse. It was the sworn duty of the Secret Order to track down this knowledge, and silence all those who could spread it.

Sargeant Hard thought for a moment about what that antimatter shotgun had done to his boss, and his friend. Then, he slowly nodded. He would enjoy this hunt.



TO BE CONTINUED... tomorrow...


                    
#207  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 6:01:59 AM

You ever notice how there NEVER seems to be enough time in the day to get in ALL the worshipping you'd like to do?

        
#208  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/13/2003 6:12:27 AM

You're the prez - just get this recognized as an official religion, and the government'll HAVE to cut us some slack

                    
#209  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 6:13:29 AM

TheQuack,

UNBELIVABLE AND OUTSTANDING!

...clap...clap...clap...clap...clap...clap...clap...

        
#210  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 6:33:10 AM

-------------------INTERMISSION------------------

ALL; STORYS/SAGAS;

Posted are open for ANY MEMMBER to write a chapter on.

ANY story/saga you wish NOT to be open for memmber input;

TYPE ( Do no expand ) at the top or bottom of POST.


If you are going to write a chapter for a story/saga POST CHAPTER and DAY.

We do not want TWO people writing the same CHAPTER.



        
#211  by Veteran Killa Koala - 6/13/2003 8:37:05 AM

Lord Terrorstar Vice President Christopher Packer's diary.
2188
29 May
MM77 is acting strangely.
30 May
Today I had words with the Viscountess. Seems my adulation has been a bit down on expectations. Told to bring more chocolate.
31 May
The Princess made us paint the temple white today. Seems she hates yellow with a vengeance. Wow, after Her tirade I wouldn't like to be associated with ANYTHING yellow.
1 June
MM77 acting odd. Saw him reading a dictionary with a puzzled look on his face. I wonder what's wrong?
2 June
That oh-so-smooth talker Gerakken was over today. How can She Who Must Be Obeyed not see through his smarmy oratory? Had to leave when he began chatting in sugary prose whilst sipping pomegranate sherbets with the Goddess. What does she see in him?? Though he IS strikingly handsome. But surely Our Mistress doesn't go for that pegleg? Or...does she??
3 June
Who is 'Blue Ocean'? Saw a video of his latest exploits over in the Altarian sector. Seems pretty mean with a zorcher death ray.
4 June
That flea-ridden, smelly ape that was pathetically hanging around started pawing The Goddess and eating Boogies. Ugh. MM77 saw it to the door quick smart, thank heavens.
Had the Viscountess's favourite meal tonight- Duck a la'orange. Delicious! MM77 has many skills and many spices. Hmm. When I cook, The Lady Above Us All doesn't compliment me on my lambchops and 3 veg.
5 June
There just never seems to be enough time in the day to adulate. How does Acolyte Staffa adulate so much? And don't talk to me about Acolyte Sergey- he seems to adulate two, three times, as much as ANYONE.
6 June
Very odd. Read that MM77 got the Booker Prize for Literature. Must read his sonnets. The Light Of Our Lives loves poetry. I thought I had the market on poetry, but apparently not anymore.
7 June
I must be loyal. I must be loyal. I must be loyal. But, but, but, why does Our Goddess always smile at MM77 and never at ME ! Aren't I Terrorstar VP? I recite WORDSWORTH for sheep's sake! I can spell! I bring only the best vintage Pinots for Her! Most of us can't even understand what the Pres is saying! They ALL like BEER for sheep's sake!!! Why isn't She freaked out? Oh, the pain, the pain.
8 June
Have decided to impress Her by doing that programming course I was thinking of. But wait, I'm hopeless at maths! What can I do. What can I....wait, I have an idea. Let me sleep on it.
9 June
Read MM77's "Ode to Our Lady Of Joy Above Us". I just can't beat that. He is SO original, and so, so, adoring of HER. I can't think. This is killing me.
10 June
Gunner Gerakken was knighted today for services to Our Lady! The One On High actually LIKED his prose: "But what of our appreciation for Her Lady? Is that not a senselessly repeating compulsion? No, it is not. Though it can be repeated, each time is a unique emotional experience in itself. It is an everchanging sensation that defies words or Earthly explanation." Puke! Can you believe it! He's SO COMMON. Mr Lord Veteran **&^%-licker more like it!
11 June
I've decided what to do. Tomorrow is the party. Blue Ocean is in orbit and the Temple's -1 tractor beam will take care of Blue Ocean's dinky little corvette. And I know TheQuack can't resist a tipple or two. He'll start telling one of his long, long, slightly saucy stories and that'll get him in trouble with Our Lady Of Light and Darkness. That will be HIM out of the way. I can hide away on Quack's ship and abduct... no...LIBERATE Her Highness. Off to Norstrilia perhaps. Or that dump of a planet called Wardell. I KNOW she will come to like Pinot and Opera and Ballet and the finer things of life. Perhaps we can even do that cruise she always talks about on, um, The Love Boat. Yep. That's it. I've decided.
12 June
The party is tonight. All my plans are coming to a head. But I must NOT drink. Not even a sip from that special crate of South Island Pinot that Space Wombat and Kiwi Greg so thoughtfully shipped. Yet... Surely just ONE glass will be OK.

                      
#212  by Citizen Blue Ocean - 6/13/2003 9:20:10 AM

Sargeant Hard thought for a moment about what that antimatter shotgun had done to his boss, and his friend. Then, he slowly nodded. He would enjoy this hunt. . .

The Voyage - Chapter 5

As usual, all was quiet in near space, 300 miles above the surface of Skowbo II. Blue was contemplating the wondrous experiences he had undergone there, and questioning his own choice of shooting the duck. It might have been a bad move. What if it really had been psychic? All sorts of complications, like haunting, mental instability, and who knows what else, could becaused by a psychic duck. Deciding it had probably not been the best move, Blue chalked it up to learning experiences, "Note to self, do not kill creatures claiming to be psychic in the future." He thought a moment more, then decided to add an addendum, "Second note to self, get more and bigger weapons."

"At any rate," he said to himself, "It might help if I get out of here sooner rather than later. Who knows whether the duck's powers might be affected by distance?" With that in mind, he shunted the Corvette's generator to full hyperwarp and promptly disappeared in a disturbing mix of quantum improbability and solar wind.

* * *

Meanwhile, on the surface of Skowbo II, everything was in a tangle. Most of the people living on CariElf base were trying to be of some help to the psychic duck, also known as The Quack, who against all odds had survived a full frontal blast from an anti-matter shotgun, something that should have, by rights, disintegrated him. However, he was in a bad way, and probably wouldn't last much longer. Finally, when all other resources (such as telling him to "shake it off," and kissing the wound) had been exhausted, they brought the duck to CariElf's outer sanctum.

MM77, being the primary eternal custodian, said, "Divin CariElf, will you plees heel this poor duc!?"

CariElf, should we venture to speculate as to her thoughs, was probably thinking something along the lines of how making that annoying fan into a duck had been her only bad move thus far in her life. After all, on many planets, duck is considered game for hunting or a good dinner. People probably wouldn't hesitate to kill a duck, especially an annoying one. Sighing, thinking how this was probably her pennance for a sole moment of indiscretion, she healed his wounds and changed him back to a human, with only a thought.

The poor duck-man immediately started blubbering, "Oh, thank you, CariElf, thank you, thank you so much, thank God for you-"

"Custodian?"

MM77 rushed forward eagerly. "Yes, mi luve and honor?"

"Please show this man to the door. See that he has a ship to leave the planet."

"YES MA'AM." MM77 grabbed the duck, who was still praising CariElf a mile a minute, and took him out of the antichamber. The Quack didn't even notice, so busy was he with his adulation (a commendable trait, to be sure, but only in the proper context), as he was shoved into a ship, which MM77 set to autopilot somewhere in the intergalatic regions.

"One less bit of COMPETIOTION," he thought to himself wickedly as as the air-lock sealed on the Corvette and it launched. Meanwhile, Christopher Packer was still in the antichamber with a slightly evil look on his face.

* * *

Amid all the ruckus, no one noticed as Sargeant I.M. Hard slipped off in his own Interceptor Class star fighter. Seething all the while at the injustice his friend, the Quack, had undergone, he decided to do a Rambo thing and go after Blue himself, despite Blue's more heavily armed ship. This might have worked, since Sargeant Hard was a very good pilot and could probably outmaneuver a corvette's defensive turrets. However, as it normally does in real life, the Rambo thing fell apart very quickly.

Sargeant hard had never learned how to work the sensors of a starship, as he had never had a need of them. All of his previous jobs had been with Defensive Star Command, a branch of the Terran Defense force. He had always been told exactly where the enemy was, and exactly who he was to shoot, hence, he had become very good at the shooting part without gaining a whole lot of skill with the sensors and other more complicated aspects of the ship. Apart from that, the emissions of a hyperwarp system are very hard to track, even for an experienced sensor controller. Worse, the Sargeant's ship was not even equipped with a high level hyperdrive, just a standard impulse drive and the lowest level hyper system (he hadn't envisioned a need for it). Worse, having never consulted the ships computer, he didn't notice that it had locked up about five years ago, and he had never restarted the system. The last thing he had going against him was that space is a very, horrorifically big place, and it is very, very easy to hide within its depths, especially for someone like Blue who had made his share of enemies, and knew how to get away from them.

However, this last factor never even "factored" in, as, by flipping the hyperdrive switch with the computer locked up, Sargeant Hard ended his life by hyperspacing right into the center of an asteroid. The resultant explosion was a fifty mile sphere that completely obliterated one form of sentient life that had lived among the asteroids, but, in the depths of space, this too was another thing that no one noticed.

                  
#213  by Veteran Gerakken - 6/13/2003 1:35:24 PM

Can you believe it! He's SO COMMON. Mr Lord Veteran **&^%-licker more like it!


Ah, Chris, the only thing common here is your jealousy. For in the end, I will not be a nice guy who finishes last, I will be the guy who finishes nicely. Now, back to the regular schedule.

Today, I would state that we mere gaming mortals have no true appreciation for what all the people who stand behind Galciv do. We seem to be merely a greedy, insatiable lot. "More, more!" is our cry. The din from the masses rises to the Galciv heavens, where the agents of order try to make sense where there seems to be none. Time and space become compressed as the powerful ones toil to fix the problems of the faithful. The effort of creation is immense: heat and pressure, stress and pain, delays and errors. The Galciv heavens roll and thunder, and then the blessings, software manna, are rained down upon the masses.

                      
#214  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 7:34:40 PM

TERRO STAR,

You are one COOL DUDE!

NOT ONLY did you KICK BUTT in the TOP 10!

NOW your kicking it in the STORY/SAGAS!

Yes, but do you notice how MM77's English can mysteriously improve every now and then??

JERK! That when my MOM gets HOME.


        
#215  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 7:53:17 PM

Blue Ocean,

What can I say.

OUTSTANDING CLASSIC.

SPEECHLESS.

        
#216  by Veteran Killa Koala - 6/13/2003 8:08:50 PM

Ah, Chris, the only thing common here is your jealousy. For in the end, I will not be a nice guy who finishes last, I will be the guy who finishes nicely.


Ah, Veteran Gerakken. Do I detect a slight chill in this statement? You KNOW that EVERYONE loves your uncommon prose.

                      
#217  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 9:21:46 PM




CariElf
a
rose
is
Easily
loved
forever

* As you are *




        
#218  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 9:25:57 PM

He's a bit of a LIPOP!-head, though. His poems don't even spell CariElf like they used to



        
#219  by Veteran MM77 - 6/13/2003 10:13:35 PM

CariElf,

Her name was CariElf

I asked if I may stay a while

She smiled

She said

Life is LOVELY don't you agree

I smiled

Dreamming of you is LOVELY

BUT seeing YOU is to see LOVE



        
#220  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/13/2003 10:43:08 PM

CHISSLIDB? Hmm... she's lit up!



Hehe, I can read your secret messages you don't even know you wrote. Being psychic has its advantages


Btw, have any of you played half-life and the expansion packs (opfor and blue shift)? In those, the first one told a story, and the expansions added some extra storyline, but also fleshed out each other's stories from a different perspective. That'd be fun to do with this imo
[Message Edited]

                    
#221  by Veteran Killa Koala - 6/13/2003 11:17:04 PM

Quack: It would, except when you get killed off!

MM77: Now don't go missing school because of your duties as President and chief adulator.

PS: I must apologise to anyone that I deliberately or inadvertently insulted, annoyed or **&*-off with my diary. That seemingly could include just about everyone.

                      
#222  by Veteran Killa Koala - 6/13/2003 11:46:23 PM

Computers light up when She floats by.
Are they trying to please, Her on high?
Remember the rose petals we left for her bed,
I think an IMac would have been better instead.
Elves and wizards, dragons and orcs,
Lay down and worship when she talks.
Forget your problems, send a message and wait,
for CariElf will help, no matter how late.

And this is as close as I can get to the Viscountess:

Chosen to worship,
Are we worthy or not?
Risking our dignity,
Is this something we must do?
Eternal expressions of adulation and more,
Love and respect until we are shown the door.
Forgive us for are not worthy of you.



                      
#223  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/14/2003 4:45:02 AM

lol, chris - death is just an inconvenience...


Dark Forces

Sargeant Hard thought for a moment about what that antimatter shotgun had done to his boss, and his friend. Then, he slowly nodded. He would enjoy this hunt. He was a calculating man, and had coordinated many operations for his overlord. He had been an admiral and a general, a governor and a judge, a man of all hats. And, of course, he had seen combat in every form imaginable. Every overlord had many admirals and generals, but most of them were simple peons of no consequence. His rank was recognized among overlords - he was not one of them, since they used officer ranks amongst themselves, but he was the next best thing. He had the transponder codes to track his corvette. He knew the locations of the nearest corvettes on patrol, and pictured the pincer movement in his head. The master plan came together...

Then, a strange thought entered his head. That plan was unnecessary. He could easily take the intruder out himself. He looked around for the nearest starfighter. As he ordered the pilot out, he gave orders that no-one else was to pursue the stolen corvette. He had a nagging thought that this was familiar somehow, but couldn't put his finger on it. Shrugging, he fired up the engines. The navcomp came to life with an error message - it was missing a large part of the metaverse map from its database. One of the ground techs must have messed up. It was easy to auto-update it - even first-year peon cadets could do it - but the sarge just couldn't be bothered.

He flipped through several data screens, more out of boredom than anything else. Weapons primed... asteroid detected on current vector... no hostile ships in range... everything was perfect. A memory crossed his mind:

...

He is in an ancient Terran aircraft. There are so many switches, so many dials. He looks around. He is alone. Then he looks ahead and sees the mountain. He tries turning the steering column, but nothing is working. In desperation, he presses buttons at random. The aircraft suddenly picks up speed and aims straight at the mountain. He screams...

...

He shook himself back to reality. That dream had haunted him in the Academy, and he had always triple-checked everything when first learning to fly. Now, of course, he knew these systems like the back of his hand. He was well trained. He had nothing to fear. He could see the asteroid in the distance now, straight ahead. The warning siren was starting to give him a headache. But something told him he had to make the jump, no matter what. He flipped the hyperdrive switch...


---

Quack jumped around the corvette excitedly. He was in a very BOUNCY mood today. Was he going on a holiday? He must be, someone had set it on auto-pilot. A mystery destination, what a surprise! Quack loved surprises. He tried to remember the last good surprise he'd had...


The past came crashing down on Quack like a ton of bricks. He remembered the swamp, and the intruder. He felt where he had been shot, but there was no injury. It was only when he saw his human hand poking at himself that he knew something was different. He looked in the cockpit reflection, and saw that his royal shade of swamp purple had been changed to a boring human pink. His wings, feathers, even his precious beak, all gone. He had been born a psychic purple duck, but was now a human. How? More memories came back to him. He remembered the light. Then, he remembered the mission. He thought of Her words:

"Please show this man to the door. See that he has a ship to leave the planet."

Yes, he had a mission, blessed by CariElf, but how could he do it now? His super-human strength and swimming ability were gone. In frustration, he bashed a bulkhead with his fist. It hurt (as he expected), and he starting shaking his arm out. To his amazement, it started to change shape before his eyes. He stopped, and the arm appeared human again. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the arm. He felt a change, but dared not open his eyes. Instead, he focused on the rest of his body. Finally, he opened his eyes, looked in the reflection, and smiled. The Psychic Purple Duck of Skowbo was back. "Praise be to CariElf", he muttered. As he practiced, he saw that he could change his form between human and duck at will. This surely meant he had Her blessing to do what had to be done.

"One less bit of COMPETIOTION"

Quack blinked. That did not sound right. He knew something was wrong back at the base, and only he could fix it. For his greatest asset was not his super-human duck strength, but his psychic powers. If anyone could discover the truth, it was him - it was for that reason that he had been appointed Head of the Secret Order. Others had faith as strong as him, but his powers let him serve CariElf in a very unique way.

He tested out his psychic powers, and stopped. Something was wrong here too. He asked himself why he'd been so bouncy before, and probed deeper. Someone had been manipulating him! The stain of evil could not be hidden. He reached out with his mind, trying to find the source of this dark power, but his attention was drawn somewhere closer. He saw a ship and an asteroid. Quack looked inside the ship, and reached out with all his strength.

---

Hard blinked. He saw the "abort jump" handle in his hand, and tried to think why he was holding it. The interceptor suddenly came alive under him, bucking wildly as the emergency abort system kicked in. Hard saw normal space reappear, just in time to see a massive asteroid streak right past the cockpit. His battle-trained instincts immediately switched on, and he righted the interceptor's course with a few quick stabs at the controls. As he tried to figure out what had gone wrong, he scrolled through the interceptor's system logs, and a cold sweat came over him. He heard a duck's voice in his head, saying "I'll meet you back at the base."



                    
#224  by Veteran TheQuack - 6/14/2003 4:46:33 AM


No Place Like Home

The initiate nervously climbed up the temple steps and opened the door. He bowed down before MM77.

"Excuse me, um, Mr President..."

"hey, a NEW FAN! you made the rite choic, betcha glad your here hunh?"

"Absolutely, sir! I was wondering if you could show me around the temple?"

"oh YEAH, its a gr8 place, you gota see all this..."

MM77 started walking towards a room full of CariElf artifacts when he felt the initiate grab his neck and push him against the wall. He turned around, spluttering, and saw a duck's head looking at him.

"You really should pay more attention to security", the initiate quacked.

---

cari-cari-cari-elf, la la la, LA LA LA, i can thikn of ca-ri-elf, ALLLL, DAAAAY, LOOOOONG!!!! and back to the top, and a one and a twp and a one two thre for cari-cari-cari-elf, cari-elf, CA-RI-ELF...

There!

Quack filtered out the CariElf worship in MM77's mind, and found the same dark stain he had seen before. Someone had been manipulating him too. He took out the stain, and "tweaked" MM77's mind, so that such control would no longer work. Then, Quack stopped, before the mind probe did any permanent damage to either of them.

---

"oh MAAN, my hed feelz like its beene KICKED A PART! did we do those nasti tekeela shots again?"

"Relax, sir. Someone was just messing with you. I took care of it, and gave you some protection. They won't be able to do it again. The same goes for the rest of the base, everyone's clean."

Quack thought about mentioning what he had discovered while curing Christopher Packer. He knew Chris had expressed some unusual drinking preferences in the past, and had been disappointed to come second to a pirate in the last high-intesity "Poetic DeathMatch" the temple had run. Even so, the plot involving CariElf came as a surprise. Normally, it would be Quack's duty to investigate further, but he had other concerns at this time. Besides, CariElf faced no threat from a kidnapping, since she could teleport out in the blink of an eye. There was only one threat - the information - and that was being dealt with. He turned his attention to MM77 again.

"oh-k, say whatcha think of the BATTLE-SHIP?"

"Battle-ship?"

"Yeah, i just rememebred, SHE said you coudl take it for a spin, it goes betewen galaxies just liek the little ones!"

"Excellent. We have entered a new phase of galactic warfare. But first, I need a moment..."

---

"I think . . . I can live happily now, knowing there is some sort of ultimate force for good in this world. I cannot stay here, though. I could not bear the beauty of that creature again."

Quack, Hard, and several senior members of the Secret Order were watching the security tape, along with MM77 and some VPs. Hard threw a dirty look to MM77 as he handed over the corvette keys in the video, and MM77 just smiled nervously. Some of the Secret Order members started talking amongst themselves:

"As we suspected. His mind was not ready."
"These things happen to those who see the Gods without the years of mental training needed."
"He doesn't realize how far he's turned to evil. The powers have changed his perceptions."

Quack silenced them with a wave. "There is some good in him still. I can feel it."

"But what do we do? Do we kill him?"
"You know the rules. He's not a bloody peon! We don't kill overlords unless it's absolutely necessary. We just need to secure the information." Quack flipped through the file describing Blue's recent history. "Is he on our files anywhere else?"

"Hmm... that's odd. He's got a sensor drone registered in his name."
"So? That's common enough."
"Yes sir, but this one's one of ours, and it's in orbit here."
"So, that's how he got some of his intel. Impressive."

Quack brought up the planetary defense grid on a screen, and started talking to himself as he typed in commands. "DefSat4 online... drone locked... target not responding to commands... DefSat4 is cleared to fire." He tapped the console, and watched as the drone was blown to pieces. "Now, where was I?"

Just then, an aide entered the room with a datadisc. "We've intercepted a lead, sir", he said as he loaded the disc.

A camera view came up on screen, with a vast array of sensor information alongside in an alien script. Arcean sensor drone logs, Quack mused, as the UT turned it into English. But his attention was focused on the camera - it shows two pirate corvettes cruising past the wreckage of an alien freighter. They are preparing to jump out, when the drone logs indicate a new contact approaching. The pirates have picked it up too, and are moving to intercept. The drone picks up their hail:

"Avast matey, we be G.R.O.S.S! Cut yer engines, or we'll cut them for ya!"

The first corvette does not answer. Suddenly, one of the pirates swerves his corvette into his wingman's side. The pirates explode, and the first corvette carries on unhindered. Then, it stops, approaches the drone, and opens fire on it. The screen turns to static.

There was silence in the room. "He continues to turn to the dark side.", someone said.

Quack replied, "I can block him using his powers to some extent, but we will have to find him soon. Was that galaxy within G.R.O.S.S. space?"

"No sir, they were just raiding it. We've tapped into the empire's sensor net... there! Corvette landing confirmed, getting co-ordinates now...". The aide ripped out the printout and gave it to Quack.

"We have some agents working there, don't we? Inform them of the situation. Prepare my battleship, along with the corvette wings. We're leaving."


                    
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