Mudcat Café message #209249 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20177   Message #209249
Posted By: Amos
09-Apr-00 - 01:21 PM
Thread Name: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT- Albert Hansell Part 3
The Gambler, stunned by having a dialog with a disembodied omnipresent female voice, stammered for a moment; but never shy or timid, found his voice and asked if he might have a glass of good brandy while he gathered his thoughts. The mellifulous tones of the computer hesitated, and then replied that she thought she could manage that after a brief consultation with her archival molecular descriptions for the time period. "Would Henessy be acceptable?", she asked? Moments later, a small panel in the seamless white walls of his "room" (for so he thought of it) opened to reveal an oversized snifter well-charged with the golden amber. He sniffed cautiously andhis eyes opened wide.

"This is the best brandy I have ever had the fortune to taste!" he remarked happily.

"Thank you," the voice responded. "It is from an 11th century formula of which we acquired a sample from an earlier traveler here, a distinguished knight of the period, one Malvent de Pied-Chat."

As he thought on the quizzzical connection, and wondered what might have become of the actor in their violent transition, a large panel on the wall grayed and brightened, revealing an image of a square-jawed man, gray haired with piercing eyes, wearing a kilt.

"Goldang it to tarnation, what the hell is happening back there on the river?!!", the face demanded. Then, remembering himself, the gentleman spoke more courteously. "Sorry, sorry. I am remiss. Welcome to our humble vessel, sir. My name is Long. I am sometimes called the Senior, being the oldest of a long line, and sometimes called Lazarus. I am sometimes also called things I won't repeat here. You are a guest on my ship, and your hostess is Miranda, an intelligent personality built into the very mechanism of our craft to provide communication and intelligence. I need to hear from you what has transpired. There is a serious risk that the vessel you lately left is about to become the site of an involuntary chrono-spasm, which could have far-reaching and rather catastrophic consequences if it is not averted. But, I always say, any paradox can be paradoctored! Your story, sir, if you would be so kind...."

And the Gambler began his tale.