TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
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TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4

katlaughing 16 Apr 00 - 02:21 PM
Peter T. 16 Apr 00 - 01:55 PM
katlaughing 16 Apr 00 - 12:52 PM
JenEllen 16 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM
Amos 16 Apr 00 - 12:49 AM
katlaughing 15 Apr 00 - 11:48 PM
JenEllen 15 Apr 00 - 11:34 PM
Amos 15 Apr 00 - 10:15 PM
catspaw49 15 Apr 00 - 09:03 PM
Mbo 15 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM
Amos 15 Apr 00 - 12:10 PM
Barky 14 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM
Amos 14 Apr 00 - 05:19 PM
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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 02:21 PM

Eerie, manical laughter is heard in the background, slowly building to a crescendo, dying away to a last sinister whisper of madness....

Bravo, Peter! Well done! Uh, is Waylon Heron any relation? Watch it!**BG**

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Peter T.
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 01:55 PM

"Owwwwchh", moaned Cassius de Mornay, as he felt a large bump on the back of his neck, which did not improve his phrenological framework.

"Ah, welcome back, Mr. De Mornay. You have been gone some time, if I may use such an expression. 'I could count myself the king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams', as your beloved Bard relates." An elegant, gray-haired figure, cloaked in a dark red gown, smiled at the dishevelled figure of the long lost actor. De Mornay lay semi-recumbent on a white divan encircled by a slightly humming force field.

De Mornay scowled: "He also said, 'O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!!'"

The red cloaked figure, whose features were blurred by shadows, nevertheless could be seen to be smiling. Around the great white room, a vortex of blue and green water churned in infinite patterns, bubbling and frothing.

"Well, de Mornay, this little charade is about over. I do admire you and your -- can I call them colleagues -- in the pathetic 19th century, with their steamboats and their absurd individualities. But they, and you in particular, have come somewhat too close to the centre of things --"

"The Great White Wall, you mean?"

"Mr. De Mornay, Mr. De Mornay. Please do not interrupt. You will be seriously dead soon enough, without any medallions and playacting to help you, and I thought you might like some inkling of what is going on."

"You aren't Lazarus Long, are you?" said de Mornay.

This struck the red cloaked figure as immensely amusing. He laughed a crooked laugh, and his face almost lifted out of the shadows.

"No, Mr. De Mornay, I am not that insignificant, if useful, fool. As you surmise, perhaps, I AM THE RED HERON!!" He shrugged his cloak. "For what it is worth.... But I do have some relationship to, well, let us say --" And here he waved a hand, and out of the virtual whirlpool, two figures, young women with red hair, appeared, holding out their arms in a gesture of helpless beseeching.

"These are the children of Long's indiscreet dalliance with a woman of strange powers that I am holding, Oh let us say, holding in reserve. I bore them away from him some years ago, and replaced them through psuedoreplication with the somewhat bumptious females who he believes to be his offspring. It is a sign of what a fool he is that he believes that the daughters of such a woman would be -- what did they call them in the late 20th century? -- ah yes, ditzbrains."

De Mornay suddenly felt very alone.

The red cloaked figure snapped his fingers, and the apparition disappeared. "Now then. Mr. De Mornay, what have you learned about what is going on?"

De Mornay brooded for a moment, then shrugged. "When I was struck in that inexpert manner, I was sending a message to the great Chat Noir through a complex messaging system linked, or perhaps creating, the past. I had had enough time previously to survey the enterprise, and had deduced that this was probably the heart of the League of the Mudcat, or the League of the Red Heron, and that whichever it was -- perhaps both? -- it was seemingly capable, like some cosmic playwright, of entering, and even changing the course of history."

The red cloaked figure sat back in his throne that eerily hovered several inches off the ground. "I congratulate you, de Mornay. You are half right, which is quite striking in its own way. But the truth is much more complex and interesting, and the reason why you and your colleagues have caused me such soon to be ended trouble." He reached forward, waved his arm, and Wagnerian music began to play.

"Now, Mr. de Mornay, this will mean nothing to you, but indulge me. I like to play with my -- thoughts from time to time. I don't often have an audience, unlike you. A brief scientific flurry. In the late 20th century a curious phenomenon was discovered, known colloquially as the "butterfly effect", that is, in the world about us, very slight changes, perturbations, in certain aspects of the world, can have significant consequences. The death of a President, for example. Or the fall of a leaf precipitating a hurricane a continent away. This phenomenon, known more and more intimately to later centuries, became of singular importance when time travel was discovered, because it meant that no interference in the past could be tolerated, unless by a suicidal madman, since it could not be predicted if such interference might at the least eliminate the perpetrator of the interference himself, or at a larger scale, the sequence of events that led to the discovery of time travel itself.

De Mornay protested: "You must then be such a madman, as you and your demons have been interfering recklessly for some time!!!"

The redcloaked figure smiled. "I am a madman, de Mornay, but not suicidal. Some time ago, in my time -- it matters not when that time is -- following a somewhat apocalyptic struggle between the League of the Mudcat and my own League, I was able to Inheronate the complete computing resources of the galactic Interweb for a few brief seconds. During that time, I learned something of incalculable usefulness. The phenomenon of clumpiness -- a clumpy term, but appropriate. What this means is that although there is potential for cascading change from inappropriate interference, there is also clumpiness -- stable islands of moderate changelessness -- the sort of thing that prevents hurricanes over deserts, in spite of innumerable butterflies flapping their wings. If these can be identified -- and I have identified many of them -- much of the past can be interfered with, even altered, safely (or at least safely for one's own purposes). It is is this that has allowed the League of the Red Heron to move into the past almost unchallenged."


The red cloaked figure sighed with the heaviness of the burden of evil upon him. "There is one problem. We have been followed into the past by the interfering League of the Mudcat, curse them down the centuries. We have both learned however that there is an island of necessary moderate stability in your time, located somewhere upon the Albert Hansell, which, if interfered with, will cause quite predictable havoc in a later period. It is tied up with the Last Medallion, whose wherabouts are still unknown."

Although de Mornay was on the brink of death, he was getting somewhat irritated. "Yes, yes, but what is that predictable havoc?"

"Ah," replied the Great Red Heron himself, "This is what frightens me, my minions, and the League of the Mudcat as well (curse their souls)! For if the interference succeeds, as it seems to be doing at the moment, the sequence of events will lead to the elimination of all possibility for the original seed of both our Leagues, good and evil alike. This possibility was to have evaporated with the success of the Maid of the Ohio in passing the Albert Hansell, but something went awry -- including the loss of those pasteboard Red Herons, insignificant pawns, fodder against the likes of the Chat Noir. But all this has made the next moment of interference even more likely, and the dissolving of all more certain. Unknown to those aboard the Albert Hansell -- and unkown to those who are manipulating them in the future -- it is these 19th century puppets who hold the fate of all those who would later frequent the Mudcat in their hands! It is the creations who will determine the fate of their creators!!!!!"

He paused.

"But that means --!!" said de Mornay, a look of horror crossing his brow, one which he had delivered many times, but had never used to quite such effect before.

The Red Heron reached up and pulled back his cowl. "Yes, you fool, it is I!!!!!"

De Mornay sat thunderstruck. "But she is so helpless, as are they all -- except, except!"And he smiled again. "And that is what will doom you, Red Heron. You cannot win, especially now that I see who you really are!!!!"

"Enough intertemporal chitchat, Mr. De Mornay, I am boring you, and you are boring me, and I know how actors despise amateur theatricals. I also know how many times you have practiced dying before; so, what can I say, welcome to opening night!"

And a large void opened up beneath de Mornay, a vast humming sound was heard, and he was whisked away into a pitch blackness, somewhat darker and more deadly in effect than that unfortunate night in Milwaukee, when somewhat confused owing to a miscue, Cassius de Mornay had leapt into the grave to embrace Ophelia, only to find himself pitched forward into the spacious orchestra pit!!!!!

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 12:52 PM

And here I thought Black Chat had taken care of them a while back?! Hummmph! If them young'uns ever get done spoonin' maybe they'll come do some arse-kicking. Sheesh! Kids, today!**BSEG**

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 12:46 PM

LOL Amos! Then just HOW do the Herons meet their timely end with everyone shagging off to the NYC? The Captain is gone, so we canna blow them up with methane. Kung-fu Black Chat snuggled in with said Captain, so we are out one wicked she-thing as well. Where are the young ones? And more importantly...who is steering? :)

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 16 Apr 00 - 12:49 AM

That's "making good", Jen -- a term describing real motion over ground in the current measurement; besides, there was an awful lot of dead air in 17 days. Prolly only a few days/nights on the Hansell, but I lost count. And just because all the Herons got stranded on a sandbar with their sternwheel shredded by the Deckhand's crude device, you think them inter-epoch warriors from the Nth dimension are gonna be stopped by anything as primitive as a Barlow knife? Well, I guess not!! :>)

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 11:48 PM

Miss Sara Belle Fontaine sipped her mint julep. Learning the mojo woman was her sister had given her a sense of completion; a belonging she'd never felt really when being raised in the bosom of the Judge's family, for all that she was so grateful to them.

She knew her destiny was opening before her; a destiny filled with infinite possibilties. But, she also knew the lingering effects of the past few days' whirlwind of happenings, strange sights, and mindbending experiences had left her drained and vulnerable to sinking into the languid oblivion the mint julep promised. With that in mind, and with the blessing and urging of her wisesister, shebravely clicked the heels of her newly acquired ruby red slippers together and thought, "There's no place like EnWhyCeeEffTeeTeeEss, there's no place like EnWhyCeeEffTeeTeeEss, there's no place like....." And, in a thrice, she found herself tucked up cozy-like in a soft, downy bed, surrounded by soft pastel walls, with another occupant in the bed next to her, slightly odiferous, but with a beatific smile on his sliumbering face, a kindly attendant sitting beside him, intoning a mantra of "It'll be alright old chum, the Skiffler says so." And, as she closed eyes in a sigh of contentment, somehow, Miss Sara Belle just knew it would be alright.

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: JenEllen
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 11:34 PM

The amazing speed the Hansell was making????? HOW long have we been on this trip? 17-odd days?? And still no sign of New Orleans? (And he wonders how I can row so fast!! *bg*)

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 10:15 PM

The Gambler awoke with a start, alone in his cabin on the Albert Hansell. He had had a terrible dream, involving being transported to a far future civiliazation, finding himself in some kind of hospice -- perhaps a Bedlam sort of place -- and being assigned to serve as drynurse to an old fat guy with a clay animal stuck in his mouth. He shuddered and reached for the small flask on the bedside stand. He reflected on the amazing speed the Hansell was making good, and in the back of his mind wondered if land-engines would ever do as well. Anything seemed possible after the strange conversations he had had in the last few days. He took a large swallow of Tenessee whiskey, and rolled back to sleep, his last sight being the rolling stars outside his porthole, and a brief glimmer of an arcing trail of vaporous flame across the night sky.

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 09:03 PM

The "Mary Greene"???????? What the fock is the "Mary Greene"???????? Fer chrissakes...............oy.................


Catspaugh had seen it all now. The previous night and this day had brought home so many revelations of his past and forebodings of his many bizarre images he had seen, how could there be more. Yet they seemed to keep coming at him in a kaleidoscope of terminal weirdness. The voices behind the glass in that strange room amongst the stars, the flaming kestrel in the Nomex suit, the Mojo woman with the superoars in the rowboat..........Much too much for his simple tastes for bootlegging. Only the race with the "Maid" had brought him back to a reality of sorts, but now THIS.......The strange and hovering mechanical bird which hung in the air above the "Hansell" pushed him over the threshold of sanity and now the mystifying appearance of ANOTHER steamer which had not been there seconds before, slammed shut the door, forever closing him off from reality.

He called to a deckhand to bring the tall ladder used for ascending the stacks in front of the pilothouse. The hand secured it in place and looked up to see the black smoke and sparks escewing from them and wondered what the captain had in mind. Slowly Catspaugh climbed the ladder and as he stood in the smoke and flame blowing out from the bowels of the ship, he withdrew the Navy Colt from his belt and with an awkward thrust, perched himself atop the starboard stack. Firing three shots in rapid succession, Catspaugh ripped a monstrous fart which quickly ignited and blew him several thousand feet in the air on a western trajectory.

He awoke to a kindly voice with a British accent that he recognized as his old friend Roger the Skiffler, his chief administrative assistant at hr "Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed."

"Its OK Spaw old mate....Just a nightmare. Cleigh's right here on the nightstand and your tiple is here next to you. Nothing to worry about my friend, just a nightmare. Now try and relax and get back to sleep. I'll play you a bit of a tune on my kazoo and another on my trusty noseflute. It'll be alright old chum, the Skiffler says so."

He breathed deeply and rolled to his left, stuffing the pillow a bit tighter beneath his neck and curling his left arm under his head. He stared at the book on the edge of his bed......."Life on the Mississippi".......He swung his right arm out and knocked it to the floor with a mixture of fear and disgust. He glanced across at Cleigh, grinning at him from the top of the nightstand and then noticed the beautiful model of the Pennsylvania Railroad M-1 which his father had given him. It had been the last steamer to operate on the Panhandle Division and the last one his Dad had fired before the diesels took over completely. There was romance to the railroads in those days he thought as he drifted off to sleep.

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Mbo
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 07:55 PM

"YES!!!!" Was the cry as Huck, Jim, Jeremy, Slick, and Miss Barky joined in a 19th-century equivalent of a high five. They scrambled to the wreck of the Mary Greene and claimed one of the Mary's big lifeboats for their own. Huck happened to have a bucket of white wash on his raft, given to him from his pal Tom...
Slick Philly picked a rather large cattail, and since he had a bit of the artist in him, was chosen to paint the new name of their boat. In a somewhat sloppy hand, Slick wrote "Sweet Angel" about the prow. Slick had a reason for naming it so...
He then joined the others in moving Huck & Jim's paraphenalia from the raft to the Sweet Angel. Jeremy and Huck stood at the ready with their oars, as Slick Philly aided Miss Barky onboard. Jim, with the pole from the raft, stood in the gunwhale and pushed them off. Now it was their goal to catch up with the Albert Hansell at all costs....

--Slick Philly Matt

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 00 - 12:10 PM

Apologies for the time-warps in the last few minutes to date-- something about the black-hole fueled matrix distortion lift drives in the Dora's engines. I am waiting for some genius out there to handle the remainign mysteries in this plot.

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Subject: RE: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Barky
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM

Back on the bank, Miss Montesquiue spluttered, coughed, then sat up. "Now what in th' worl' am Ah doin' heah? All Ah remembuh' is flyin'. What's that supposed to mean, when ya have a flyin' dream?" All of a sudden, and together, she noticed the other people *Caitrin, Huck and JIM, not the King and the Duke!*, AND remembered what happened. Therefore, she had a rather hard time of it while trying to keep her composure, for the sake of the others, and acting nice! "How do ya' do?" She asked Jim and Huck. "Ah'm Miss Bahky Montesquiue, mah fathah's daughtah', an' this handsome young gennleman is Slick Philly Matt. How do ya' do?" She repeated in her nervousness. Little did she know how well they ACTUALLY did... (sorry... couldn't think of anything cool...)


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Subject: TAVERN STEAMBOAT Albert Hansell - Part 4
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 00 - 05:19 PM

This is Installment Four of the Albert Hansell's strange and complex story.
Part One can be found here. Part Two can  be found here.
Part Three Can be found here.

The tension is mounting and the outcome uncertain...

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