Ongoing story thread

vbimport

#1

I’ve been bitten by the writing bug again and started a new story in the catbox, but it is very frustrating trying to keep the lines together in there. So, I’m putting it in here.

This is all very much off the top, so formatting and punctuation will not be pretty.

Enjoy…or not as the case may be. :slight_smile:

Chapter 1.
Traveling through the twisted, disjointed remnants of the old net, the noted cyberarcheologist Onaed finds a cryptic reference to an ancient site of freakish disc worshippers. Disguised through years of disuse, the paths to the site lead to strange mice tainted areas, but eventually he finds the proper doorway. Shards of deteriorated polycarbonate litter the floor, and strange metal boxes are scattered about. “Hmm, what is a Lite-on?”, he muses as he examines one of the ancient devices.

Digital dust and silence rule here now, but there are remanants of pathways yet…then he suddenly feels like he is no longer alone in this forgotten corner of the digital worlds. A faint pulse of power plays out from the shadows, and the entrance of the catbox suddenly beckons.

Dreadful, ominous, and yet he cannot resist. She waits within still…

He steps inside.

Suddenly he finds himself transported, not to a chatbox of any kind, but to an ancient type of forum.

The dates show it to be from the early 21st century, 2005 perhaps, though the years seem to shift at will, not following the
normal flow of time. Bright and cheerful, life, information, and laughter dominate, but no matter how he tries, he can only observe, not participate. One bright light catches his attention more than any other. She moves through the threads with a catlike grace. Is there any way to communicate he wonders.

It does seem she has a weakness. But what in the world is a Verbatim he thinks to himself?

Just as abrupt as his arrival, he finds himself thrust back into his own time. In the cold and dark of the ruins, he knows he has lost a chance, lost something that may not come again…not without effort.

He gathers his courage for another try. Through the doorway again, but this time he finds himself in the chatbox.

He finds he can assume personas in this place. Surely this one won’t mind if I speak through him, he says to himself.

But where is the light of the chatbox? Where is she of grace and laughter?

There will be a meeting," he says, “no matter the effort, no matter the cost.”
Onaed heads for home, disconsolate, but not giving up forever. The only tiny worry…what if she does not want to meet across time and space?

No one can predict their lives, not everyone can find the spark and capture it within them. We can only try when we see it.


#2

Chapter 2
Onaed sat in a vast cloud of interconnections, networks and pathways that made up his normal environment. None of the intricacies of this living matrix of light and power, far more complex than the human brain, interested him at the moment. No, he sat quiet and still, searching through the datasteams for clues to controlled time travel within ancient networks.

This one site in particular that he needed to understand was more primitive than anything he had encountered before, but its flavors, its strange obsessions with obsolete and forgotten technologies, and the unexpected warmth amongst its inhabitants tantalized the scientist. Even now, he was hard pressed to accept and explain his interest for one member he found there.

The flow of time within the site was chaotic, the chatroom more stable, but more sterile too, with far fewer minds lending their strength to that segment of the time line. How to merge them? How to find the one person he was interested in sharing his thoughts with, and not scare her off?

“Onaed, this type of research is hardly worthy of you”, his friend Orbed said a few days before, when Onaed tried to explain his experience. “What can you share with her, when your lives and experiences are so different?”

That thought stung, and Onaed resented it even as he recognized the truth behind it. Even if you do find a way to make contact, how do you create interest from her side of this meeting? Tell her who you are and where you’re from? She’ll think you mad, if she takes you seriously at all.

And then there is the danger of traveling this path at all. The more Onaed learns of this type of time shifting, the more uneasy he becomes. The fragility of the connection is so much worse than he had imagined. He might become stranded in that time and within the ancient net. Bodiless, with no path back to his physical connection to the cloud, his mind would dissipate like smoke in the wind.

“But I know there is something there. Something worth knowing, if only for a brief moment.”

“The first task will be to bring more power to the entrance I found. After that, moving into the ancient net should be a bit safer. And the next step—I shall have to learn how to entrance a 21st century woman. That should prove interesting,” Onaed says with a grin.


#3

Chapter 3
Finding an official excuse to link power to a dead cyberworld was proving to be next to impossible. If there was anything more complex than the modern cloud, it had to be the red tape/paperwork involved in shifting any part of it. So naturally, the hidden network folded within the cloud was the answer Onaed needed. He just wished their power feeds would stop flashing the Pirate Flag every hour on the hour.

Working from his memory of the first two trips into the ancient site, Onaed focused on one of the fetishes he had seen used by his target. Hello Kitty was, of course, still very popular, despite the centuries that had passed. So he made a trip to the cyber-universe dominated by the Hello Kitty temple. Once there, he knew this was a mistake. Hello Kitty clocks, masks, lights, food dispensers…the damn thing was everywhere. And entering the temple was a nightmare. He could never remember the correct number of genuflections to make traveling in and out, and every time he made a mistake, they made him do the Happy, Happy, Hello Kitty dance. He had seen no such elaborate customs in the ancient site, so this particular line of research was something he was eager to discard.

With his new power line/safety net in place, Onead ventured once more into the ruins. Though ruins is not exactly what he found. With more power, the ancient network was beginning to repair itself, piece by piece. Glowing signs point to still dead subforums, and archaic ads float above, telling him to visit Google? Not sure where or what that is, but perhaps another time. At the moment he needs more information about how to approach a lady of this time.

Entering the chatbox gateway, Onaed is once more transported to the forums. His targets for research are the men of the forum now. Time to learn from their examples. Several hours in, Onaed is more confused than ever. Many of their patterns of behavior are simply incomprehensible. Farting in the chatbox is one topic that seems common, but how this is attractive to mates is beyond him. And one particularly successful member in gathering female attention seems to spend most of his time imbibing beer. Perhaps there is a ritual that requires it?

Though tired and discouraged, a brief glimpse of Miss Kitty administering aid to a confused newbie cheered him considerably. Perhaps that is the key. Look lost and in need of help. But that means learning the technology of this place, and that is more than he can do in one visit.

Passing through the gateway on his way home, he can feel the doorway gripping his cyberbody, as though it didn’t want to let him go. Though it lasted but a fraction of a second, the experience shakes him to the core. “Not so safe after all is it?” Onead says to the empty ruins. The flash of the Pirate skull is his only answer.


#4

Kerry, I said this before, but…I don’t know why you don’t/didn’t take up writing for a living. You have a great way with words. :slight_smile:

Bring on Chapter 4!


#5

You’ve a real talent there Kerry. That really is exceptionally good. :clap:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#6

Chapter 4

The frightening experience of moving through the gateway has occupied Onaed’s mind for several days now. And when the answer finally comes to him, it is startling in its simplicity. The ancient forum was never intended for people who are jacked into the net. The modern cloud users have their entire consciousness moving effortlessly from each cyberworld to the next. But this remnant was built and used before that kind of technology existed! Onaed is stunned by the significance of this find.

Intellectually, he knew the net had begun this way, but to actually travel in one! There can’t be more than three or four examples of the static net still in existence, and they are all carefully guarded and maintained as museum pieces. This freaky cd site cannot have survived, and yet there it is.

“No wonder it has a flavor and emotional quotient unlike anything else I’ve experienced,” Onaed says. But it also means that there will be no real meeting of the minds as he had intended, not unless he adds something to the site. Pathways can be made that do not require a physical jack for the end user, though those types of pathways were always less reliable than physical connectors. Onaed is an expert on this type of technology, even though it went out of use 60 years before he was born.

Arachne has had a bad night. The neighbors are making more noise than an army battalion on maneuvers. And her insomnia has kicked in full force. Padding into the kitchen wearing her pj’s and Hello Kitty slippers, she tells Baz that “Breakfast won’t be here for hours, so you’d better just suck it up.” Baz isn’t impressed, and stalks off to find a comfortable sleeping spot, preferably one that he isn’t supossed to be in. Arachne finds the half empty bottle of wine left by her mother, and pours herself a glass…just for medicinal purposes of course…and heads back to her computer. “Maybe there is something interesting at the site tonight”.

Arachne buzzes through a dozen posts, noting that S_S is flirting like mad in the chatbox, Drage and the rest of the Riddlers have been busy, and Kerry56’s latest riddle makes no sense whatsoever. Albert has posted another smiling picture…“that boy can light up a room, can’t he?” she says to herself. The Thong thread is getting out of hand again, but she’s in no mood to bother with it. Then a new thread appears in the Living Room. It is written in a script that is [B]not[/B] seen on CDFreaks at all, and it is a strange golden color. Is it pulsating? The name of the thread is [I]An Invitation to Miss Kitty[/I].

Arachne clicks on the thread. In that instant, she feels faint, and she can feel herself dropping down on top of her keyboard.


#7

:clap: :eek:


#8

Good story . Kerry you are a much better writer than me.
This might make a theme song :
Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkle


#9

Chapter 5

Arachne wakes from what must have been a very odd dream, and yet when she looks around her, the place she finds herself is more dreamlike than anything she has known. There is a golden light around her, but she can tell this is a French bistro, well, something approximating such an establishment anyway. Above her, on a shimmery wall is a sign, L’Ami Louis, and before her is a table set for two with a single red rose in a vase as the centerpiece. Looking down at herself, she finds she is wearing a simple, though elegant knee length black dress. Incongruently, she is still wearing her Hello Kitty house shoes.

A figure approaches her slowly, a bit hesitantly, as if he were not sure of his welcome. He is tall, slightly balding with a lean face. He might seem slightly intimidating but for his ready smile. His clothing is beyond strange—a loosely fitting, long silvery grey coat over what looks like a dark blue bodysuit.

Onaed is overjoyed that his pathway has worked but very apprehensive of Miss Kitty’s reaction to all this.
“Welcome, Miss Kitty” he says, and gestures towards the table. He holds her chair, as Arachne sits.

“Thank you, but who are you, and where is this place?” Arachne is curious, but surprisingly, not a bit afraid. There is a air of comfort and calm that pervades the little bistro, and this man is smiling at her with considerable warmth. He’s really
not too bad looking she decides, though it is difficult to judge his age. 32 perhaps?

“My name is Onaed, and this site is devoted to French cuisine, and has many different cafes and bistros to choose from,” Onaed answers. “This particular one is supposed to be an accurate reproduction of a famous bistro in Paris, circa 2080 or
so.”

“2080” Arachne’s right eyebrow shoots upward and her incredulity is obvious.

“Yes, you see, the thread you found in your forum was an invitation to travel. Not physically of course, but through time and across your known internet into a more advanced type of cybercloud. You have come a great ways, but please don’t be alarmed. You can return to your home at any time you wish, with no harm to you.” Onaed looks quite anxious as he explains this, and his manner leads her to take him at his word, at least for the time being.

A waiter arrives and Onaed orders two glasses of Chardonnay.

Arachne is more or less bemused by the situation. “This must be what Alice felt like going down the rabbit hole,” she thinks.
“Very well, I’ll play along, at least until I wake up,” she says.

“But I assure you, this is no dream. Unless you count granted wishes as something dreamlike. I found an ancient pathway that lead me to your site. I’ve been reading, and experiencing all that I can of your freak cd site, and in the meantime, I’ve come to admire you, your manner in the forums and the joy that comes through your posts.” Onaed is a bit embarrassed by this declaration, but could find no better way to express himself.

A little stunned, Arachne sits with her mouth open a bit. Surely this can’t get any stranger she thinks. Fortunately the wine arrives and she has something to use with her hands. A good sized gulp of wine, and now time to find out what is really
going on!


#10

I’m afraid to know what happen when Onaed will find the quest :bigsmile:

:stuck_out_tongue:


#11

[QUOTE=geno888;2637108]I’m afraid to know what happen when Onaed will find the quest :bigsmile:

:p[/QUOTE]

:iagree:…or spends more time in the Catbox! :bigsmile:


#12

Chapter 6

“I’ve taken a fair amount on faith here Onaed, but can you prove to me you are what you say you are, and that I’m truly in a different time?”

“Certainly. But it may be a shock to you to see the cybercloud without some form and and substance. I chose this bistro as something that you could see and understand without being frightened.”

That gave Arachne pause. Perhaps he had a point, as she was beginning to feel somewhat overwhelmed even now. “I have a question for you Onaed. What happens if the power is cut off on my computer, or the servers for CDFreaks? Is it
still simple to get me back home?”

Onaed looks a bit startled himself now. “Lose power? You mean no electricity to your net connections at all?” “That simply can’t happen here, so it is not something I ever considered.”

“But even so, time is a curious thing. I can return you to your body within seconds of the time you left, even nanoseconds if such accuracy is necessary. In the mean time, you can explore what you want in this time, for as long as you want. Our only concern is the connection I’ve made through the gateway to your site. It is not as stable as I’d like, but should still not be a concern.”

Somewhere within, that last sentence struck a note of fear, but Arachne put up a brave face. “You are truthful at least, even when it doesn’t help your side of the discussion.” “Show me something that can’t possibly exist in my time.”

So Onaed offers her his hand, and they walk to the exit of the bistro. “Close your eyes for a moment Miss Kitty, and we will be in a different place when you open them.”

So Arachne closes her eyes, but not completely. She sees a blur of light, conduits of blazing power and blue and white structures that resemble buckministerfullerines stretching out as far as she can see. Then darkness. They’ve arrived at a new destination, and it is alien beyond belief.


#13

Chapter 7

“What we are looking at here Miss Kitty, is a different world entirely.” Onaed states solemnly. “Man has never solved the problem of faster than light travel, but we have managed to send out probes to other solar systems at very close to lightspeed and recorded what we found. Only two planets we’ve explored have life, and only this one, Nemesis, has life forms larger than a hare.”

Arachne stares at the world before her, unable to completely comprehend it. The vegetation is mostly shades of yellow and red. The star in the sky is a menacing blood red, and the eight legged creatures that scurry across the open plain look like
something out of a nightmare. Surely no insect or arachnoid can reach the size of a bus, but that is what they resemble.

“All right, I’ve had enough of this. Lets see something from Earth of your time,” Arachne says with a shudder.

Onaed takes her hand, and in an instant, they are standing on a glass enclosed structure on the moon, looking at the Earth floating above. Twirling around the planet are a series of platforms…floating cities in space.

The air is soft and gentle and lilac scented. Somewhere in the distance a piano and french horn are playing a duet.

“Now you see, this is the spot to take a girl on a date Onaed!” Arachne says playfully, relieved to be away from the alien world they had just seen.

“I’m sorry Miss Kitty. I’m really not very good at personal interaction. I shall try to improve this if you’ll let me,” Onaed says with a quick sideways glance at his companion. She really has borne this well he thinks. Perhaps there is some hope after all.

And in that moment, all hell breaks loose. An alarm sounds from Onaed’s belt, and it increases in intensity with every second.

“What is going on Onaed?” Arachne yells in near panic.

“The connection to your gateway is failing Miss Kitty.” “We must move NOW!”


#14

[insert huge :eek: smiley here!]


#15

Chapter 8

Jumping through the various nexus points on the the path to the ruins is taking more time than normal. Onaed realizes that the power conduit he has connected to the chatroom gateway has lost integrity, and the authorities in this section of the
cloud are responding with slow downs in energy distribution and site jumps. “There isn’t time for this” he states angrily, and keeps tight hold on Arachne as they finally get to the ancient gateway.

Tremendous sheets of energy are shooting straight up into the sky from the entrance to the chatroom. But they are pulsing in a steady rhythm.

“Miss Kitty, you must go through when the light dies down. You’ll have to time your jump into the gateway.”

Arachne is wide eyed, but she gathers her courage and stands before the gate.

“Its been an interesting first date, I must say Onaed.” “You’ll have to figure out a way to set up a second one without killing us off,” she says.

Her smile in the face of this obvious danger gives Onaed courage of his own, he steps forward and takes her face in his hands. He kisses her and says “I’ll find a way.”

“Jump now Miss Kitty!”

With a backwards glance at Onaed, Arachne runs and launches herself through the gate…

Arachne twitches abruptly and nearly falls out of her computer chair. She must have fallen asleep at her desk, and now has key imprints on her forehead. But wait, Onaed… She looks at CDfreaks on her screen, at the Living Room, but there is no sign of the invitation thread.

Standing in the ruins, Onaed has disconnected the failing power supply. The ancient site slowly starts to fade again, but the chatbox entrance is still intact, and more alive than when he first found it.

“I’ll find a way,” says Onaed.

The End


#16

Awww, that was just getting fun, and I was waiting for other CDF folks to make an appearance! This can’t be the end :sad:


#17

Sorry. It was always something of a love story rather than an ensemble saga.

Hope you liked your part in it. :flower:


#18

Ahhh, it was an intentional love story. Yes, I liked it :flower:


#19

But is it the end or just a new beginning? :bigsmile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#20

<-- is wondering what part Yrrek65 plays in all this!? :smiley: