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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,JenEllen Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 3 (93* d) RE: Mudcat Tavern Enterprise Part 3 24 Apr 00

Mandy left Farkin to his work. She was humming to herself and absentmindedly rubbing the frostbitten fingerprint on her forehead. She suddenly chuckled as she remembered the ancient Terran saying "cold hands, warm heart". It was Farkin to a tee. If her Mere was right about the Green Man, she'd have to get the two of them together.

She passed the Tavern on her way to visit the Green Man. The raucous laughter and rhyme coming from within the doors sent her shuffling down the hall as fast as a gal in a sari can wiggle. If it was those guys from Engineering again, she'd be done for. Mandolans weren't built to drink, and her hangover was still hanging over from the night before.

She was already over an hour late, so a few minutes more wouldn't matter. She'd stop by the hydroponics neonate center and check on her seedlings. The wee ones always do better with a little extra care, and this latest batch of Terran blackberries were looking puny. She remembered once, on a small planet in the Flagon galaxy, how a Terran had showed her the true delicacy of tasting the blackberry on a kiss from your love. She hurried down the hall.

Mandy was in such a rush to escape the draw of the tavern that she never noticed the dark figure in the doorway she passed. The creature paused for a minute, watching her shapely form moving down the hall, then fell in step behind her.

As Mandy entered the neonatal ward, still humming the Ice Giant's songs to herself, the creature made it's move. All Mandy felt was a rush of air, then a suffocating force that pushed her to the floor. The creature didn't say a word. Mandy crawled to the wall and propped herself in a sitting position, as the creature moved closer. It's vacuous form seeming to draw in all the light and life around it. The tiny blackberry vines near where the creature stood seemed to wither and die before her very eyes.

Mandy sat curled on the floor gasping for breath. The creature moved in front of her and held up a small device in what she took to be it's lifeless palm. The device clicked, and the hologramatic image of her grandmother appeared. Her grandmother was talking to HER. The creature must have been behind her grandmother the entire time the two women were talking! She saw her grandmother sing to her, she saw herself bid farewell, and the screen in her grandmother's home went dark. Mere turned around, saw the creature and her face went pale. The old woman's mouth formed a soundless "YOU!" as she picked up a glass, hurling it at the creature. The cloud moved forward and surrounded the old woman. When it moved away, Mandy saw her grandmother sitting comfortably in a chair, blank eyes staring up at the creature.

Mandy knew if she didn't get help soon, she'd be next. All the songs she knew would be erased and she would be left as lifeless as the blackberry vines.

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