A candle in the darkness

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Fortran Dragon

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Nov 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/29/98
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Imagine a flat white plain stretching to somewhere in all
directions. As you turn to look in each directions you notice a large
stone archway. You can not see through the archway because a mist
obscures the area inside the arch.

Many unknown runes are carved on the archway. As you move closer
to investigate the archway you notice that it is an artifact of Chaos
itself.

Off to a side of the archway is a small pedestal made out of
marble in a pseudo-Doric style. On the pedestal is engraved a letter.
A letter from *Fortran*.

For some reason your anger rises. You start reading the letter to
figure out what in the name of all the hells of all the gods is going
on.


+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Greetings Fellow Dragons,

Your fellow Dragons think you are dead. At my hands.

No, I have not taken leave of my senses, for as you can see, you
are quite alive. I have removed you from Brittania to one of my 'safe
Weyrs' between the worlds so that each of you, if you will, can aid me
in thwarting what I perceive great danger to the Dragons as a whole. I
hope I am wrong, but I fear for us all.

Many Dragons in Britannica are ... gone. Utterly gone.

They can no longer be found by any of the normal and magical
methods available to us. For what reason or by who's hand I do not
know. Because of the Great Comet currently afflicting Britannia, great
magics and great powers are of no avail to us -- otherwise I would have
summoned the Great Conclave to hear my suspicions.

When I realized what was happening I started my own little plan.
I would make Dragons disappear too, in hopes that whatever is stalking
the Dragons would approach me. Perhaps I can defeat it, but I imagine
that I will almost certainly fail. Mayhaps I will be able to sound an
alarm and focus the Dragons on their peril. I do not know if I can even
do that.

All of you are my safeguard in case I fall into darkness never to
return. In you I can rest my hopes for I believe each of you as a team
can succeed. I hope to muddy the waters by my actions so much (away
from all of you) so that by stealth and the brilliance that shines from
each of your minds you will prevail in the end.

Each of you, from the newest hatchling, to the staunched Greybeard
is needed. Please, go forth through the arch and search for the missing
Dragons! If this task is too perilous for you then you are more than
welcome to stay here as you will be safe here. No one will fault you.

For those that enter the arch and take up the search, I salute
you. You are the candle against the darkness and though the road
will be long and difficult nothing will be hidden from you in the end.

A few quick words of advice. If I can send more help to you I
will. That will depend on each Dragon putting themselves into potential
peril for me to take. Each Dragon will be sent here first, and then
they will be able to enter the Arch of Strange Attractors to find those
of you that choose to search out this unknown menace to the Dragons.

Because of the Great Comet your most powerful magics and
powers will not work. Be careful working even your medium magics and
powers for they can make you stand out like a oasis in the desert if
eyes are watching for you.

I have tried to help you by giving you a Dragon to hunt for first.
From him, if you can find him, you should be able to find your way.

If I can I will try to leave you any clues I find with any new
members that come to you. I dare not try to contact you unless the need
is dear or the information crucial for I could compromise your mission.

If there is no one I will leave a letter with my trusted agents.
The letter will be sealed with the sign of a candle, but trust that not
too much for they may be compromised.

Also, not all Dragons that are gone may be gone because this
menace. <sigh> I know it complicates your struggles to have to contend
with possible dead-ends, but perhaps any Dragon that is found will help
you further your searches.

You might want to leave a way of identifying each other here. I
can not enter this place every again to see what you do so this place is
safe even from me.

Finally, trust only each other. Until the peril is defeated trust
no one else, not even me.

Fair winds and clear skies,
Fortran

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

After reading the letter you almost believe you hear a voice
saying "One little dragon, two little dragons, three little dragons,
...". The voice fades as it continues to count higher and higher.


<pop>

<pop>

<pop>

Dragons start appearing. Some you know, some you don't. All are
momentarily confused.

<pop>

<pop>

As the pops continue you realize it is time to make a decision...

--

Fortran Dragon -==(UDIC)==- | "There isn't enough darkness in the world
-=[MT]=- | to quench the light of one small candle."
Hidalgo Trading Company: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/index.html>
rgcud FAQ: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/faq/rgcudfaq.html>

Christopher A Tew

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
Coffee. Check. Taters in the oven. Check. So what the hell am I
missing? Uh...oh, I forgot to put deoderant on. Who cares...I'm not
planning on meeting any women today, or anybody else for that matter.

I sit down and take a sip of my coffee. Must've let it it simmer too
long, it's stonger than I usually take it. I guess that I'm going to
have a few off days until i get some rest. Dammit, who the hell is
that knocking on my door at this hour? Oh, wait, it's an hour after
noon. Blah.

I shuffle off to the door and look though the peephole. Hey, haven't
seen her in a couple of years. Hasn't changed much, has she? Well,
better let her in and show some of that patented hospitality. I open
the door and say, "Hey, Andrea! Haven't seen you in years! Come in,
have some coff-"

"Look," she says, "I don't have time to fuck around with you, Chris.
I'd like to, but there are circumstances...," she trails off as she
brushes past me, into the kitchen. I close the door and follow.

"Okay," she says as she pours herself a cup. "I'm in the middle of a
nasty bit of order with one of our old friends, Dominae M. Nothing
that I can't handle given a little time, so I don't want your help.
Besides, the two of us against her would be overkill, and some people
wouldn't think of us as honourable anymore, eh, sweetie?" She smiles
wryly and takes a sip of the java. "Goddamnit, Chris, what did you
do, come into the damn coffee? It tastes like shit..." She dumps the
rest down the sink and goes into the fridge for some apple juice.
"Right, well, anyway, yesterday I got a message from an old friend of
ours, Fortran. As usual, he's dived into a deep shithole and he needs
help. I can't do it, so you will."

"Whoa there, Nellie. I just got done extracting myself out of a deep
shithole. I'm sure you heard all about it. It's causing some very
nasty ripples.... In any case, I need about a month of sleep before I
can do anything else. Besides, that white call stone you have in your
pocket tells me that it involves going to a spiritually focused plane,
and I want to be myself for a little while, and-"

"Hey, how the fuck did you read that? I'm shielded from that kind of
probing....!"

"I've picked up a few tricks recently. You'll figure it out someday."

"Anyway," she continues in a slightly petulant voice, "you have to do
it becuase of honour. You know that. Now just say yes, and I'll hand
you the call stone...unless you can use it without having to hold it
now."

"Not yet. Hand it over. I imagine that I at least have the time to
get ready and caffenated, eh?"

"Yeah. Bye. I'll come by when I'm all done -this shouldn't take
long-, and maybe we can talk things over...I haven't liked spending
these two years alone." She tosses me the stone, which is
transluscent white. Looking closely at the stone, I see swirling
gasses forming images that I can't quite make out. When I look up,
Andrea is gone.

Three hours later, I've strapped on my gear and prepared my dwelling
against intrusion. Unless someone hits this place hard, they aren't
getting in. Nothing deadly, of course. Still, I'll leave the coffee
in the pot for anybody who manages it. Call it a reward. Right.

I take the call stone into my hand and use it to anchor a gateway
between here and wherever the stone is coordinated to. I step into
it...

...And enter into a white plane. This plane must be some aspect of
the Prime Material. It certainly is more spiritually aligned than the
plane I came from is. After all, my thinking patterns are different,
and my physique is definately more feminine than before. I chuckle
quietly. It is fortunate that I created my, what does he call it,
gear, to adapt to the change instantly. From Christopher to Marie...I
really *do* like this pair of, ah, trick katana that he obtained
recently....

Whenever this happens, I recall the first time that dearest Andrea saw
the change. Changing from a two meter tall man with raven hair, dark
eyes, swarthy skin, and a build similar to that of a bull cow to a
nearly two meter tall woman with frost white hair, smooth alabaster
skin, eyes the colour of pure arctic water, and a slender build can be
disconcerting to some. Fortunately, Andrea was able to understand
that in a spiritually grounded plane, my soul is more accurately
reflected by my physical form and personality, the latter of which is
much less brash than Christopher's. It took a good amount of time to
explain it to her, however.

Spotting the Gate and the pedestal, I walk over there and read the odd
runes -apparently a bastard variant of the Doric set, albeit one that
is not too far removed from the original- and wonder just what Fortran
has gotten himself into this time. Why was he still in Britannia, an
unstable realm created and held together by a strange consensual
reality on the part of tens of thousands of people who live on the
same planet that my other form, Christopher, now chooses to? Some
even call themselves Dragons, and those people contribute much psychic
power to the upkeep of the pocket reality. If they are being
destroyed, on whichever plane, then Britannia would likely collapse
upon itself, destroying anything with a spiritual anchor there.

Well, according to the letter, more people shall be appearing here.
Perhaps they have answers, especially pertaining to who this "Dragon"
that has disappeared is. Ah, yes, some are approaching.

As I greet those who appear, I wonder...is Fortran just playing
another one of those games of his on us?


--
Woof justice rules OK!
---tikicat at lvdi dot net---

Allan Olley

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
On Sun, 29 Nov 1998 20:22:57 -0600, for...@earthlink.net (Fortran
Dragon) wrote:
> Imagine a flat white plain stretching to somewhere in all
>directions. As you turn to look in each directions you notice a large
>stone archway. You can not see through the archway because a mist
>obscures the area inside the arch.
>marble in a pseudo-Doric style. On the pedestal is engraved a letter.
>A letter from *Fortran*.
>know. Because of the Great Comet currently afflicting Britannia, great
>magics and great powers are of no avail to us -- otherwise I would have
>summoned the Great Conclave to hear my suspicions.
> When I realized what was happening I started my own little plan.
>I would make Dragons disappear too, in hopes that whatever is stalking
>the Dragons would approach me. Perhaps I can defeat it, but I imagine
>that I will almost certainly fail. Mayhaps I will be able to sound an
>alarm and focus the Dragons on their peril. I do not know if I can even
>do that.
>can succeed. I hope to muddy the waters by my actions so much (away
>from all of you) so that by stealth and the brilliance that shines from
>each of your minds you will prevail in the end.
> Each of you, from the newest hatchling, to the staunched Greybeard
>is needed. Please, go forth through the arch and search for the missing
>Dragons! If this task is too perilous for you then you are more than
>welcome to stay here as you will be safe here. No one will fault you.
> For those that enter the arch and take up the search, I salute
>you. You are the candle against the darkness and though the road
>will be long and difficult nothing will be hidden from you in the end.
>
> A few quick words of advice. If I can send more help to you I
>will. That will depend on each Dragon putting themselves into potential
>peril for me to take. Each Dragon will be sent here first, and then
>they will be able to enter the Arch of Strange Attractors to find those
>of you that choose to search out this unknown menace to the Dragons.
> I have tried to help you by giving you a Dragon to hunt for first.
>From him, if you can find him, you should be able to find your way.

Gee, that's an original concept:)


> As the pops continue you realize it is time to make a decision...

"Okay, I'll assume you are not lieing and or not a forgery."

St. George's Dragon with a heavy heart (his favorite show is on) steps
throught the portal.

He finds himself in a dreary brick building, suddenly he sees a group
of young humans lead by a older human approaches. Luckly nearby is a
crest with a dragon on it and he assumes its shape. As the group
walks by the adult human says "Come along class.". As they leave St.
George's Dragon realizes where he is "Of course, I am in a school and
their is only one place to find what is lost in a school. THE LOST
AND FOUND!!!".

Quickly St.G's rushes to the large box and begins throwing aside
boots and jackets left by children. He picks up an ancient scroll
quickly reads the top "Ancient Prophecies of the " a section of the
scroll is blocked out "reat Comet." The dragon furrows his brow and
then says "Bah, this is of no use, this is the time of the Great
Comet." He throws it onto the top of pile. He continues burrowing
through the pile.

Suddenly a strange look crosses his face he begins to gag, he lifts up
an old lunchbox from which a horrid aroma is emenating. He raises the
lid ever so slight, he gags once more and throws the lunchbox away
"GAG why don't these kinds throw away their lunch, Ugh." At this
point St. G's falls into unconciousness.
--
d e- N- T- Om++ UK!1!2!3!4!6A78! u uC uF- uG+ uLB+ uA nC nR nH+ nP nI+
nPT nS+ nT- y- a19
Member of the Cinnaguard
Blue Bow [B><B]
-----------
Yours Truly Saint George's Dragon
Allan Olley -==UDIC==-
-----------
"Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription."
William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Spock

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
to
Destrius wrote:
>...and it was written on the heavens that on Sun, 29 Nov 1998
20:22:57 -0600,
> the entity named Fortran Dragon (for...@earthlink.net)
> inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:
>
>-clip-

>> As the pops continue you realize it is time to make a decision...
>-clip-
>
>Destrius looks around at the cluster of Dragons in the room.
>
>"Hmmm. Methinks we should have a rollcall before entering the arch, and
>perhaps enter as small groups.
>
>"Fortran said something about not trusting anybody, however. Does that mean
>I can't trust you guys? Or can I? ..."
>
>Destrius thinks a moment, and then makes up his mind.
>
>"Okay. I'm going in. Whoever wants to join me, say so."


Cape Dweller Dragon looks around in surprise. "That wasn't what I was
expecting, but since I'm not dead, Fortran must have a reason."

He looks over and sees a rather wild-eyed Dragon. "That must be Destrius, I
hear he's quite mad."

CD walks over and starts to introduce himself.

"Hello, I've just hatched, and mmpfmm"

*SPLUT!* *SPLUT!* *SPLUT!*

Three pies appear out of nowhere catch CD square in the face!

*thinks* "Where did those come from?! I guess it's just a reminder that I
had best be on my claws if I hope to survive whatever Fortran has planned
for us..."

"Where was I? Oh yes, count me in. I may not have been around for very
long, but I believe the Dragons deserve to be saved. I'll do what I can to
help."

Cape Dweller Dragon -==(UDIC)==-

Alex Beckers

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
to
Wait, so ... is this a plot thread or a Secret Santa sort of
thing?

Pariah Dragon
Official r.g.u.d. Wanker
!! Check out the UA Rants and Raves Forum at boards.owo.com !!

UDIC d+ e+ N+ T-- Om++ U1!2!3!4!5!6!A!W!M!7'!L!S'!8! u+ uC uF uG
uLB+ uA+ nC+ nR++ nH nP++ nI nPT- nS nT-- wM wC+ wS- wI--
wN- o- oA+ oE++++(----) y a22

Fortran Dragon

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
to
From the Void comes Alex Beckers bearing this piece of Light...

> Wait, so ... is this a plot thread or a Secret Santa sort of
> thing?

Try reading the thread.

cr...@interlog.com

unread,
Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
to
Fortran Dragon wrote:
>
> Imagine a flat white plain stretching to somewhere in all
> directions. As you turn to look in each directions you notice a large
> stone archway. You can not see through the archway because a mist
> obscures the area inside the arch.
done

> Many unknown runes are carved on the archway. As you move closer
> to investigate the archway you notice that it is an artifact of Chaos
> itself.
hmmm, Ominous... *Annoying rubs his chin*

> Off to a side of the archway is a small pedestal made out of
> marble in a pseudo-Doric style. On the pedestal is engraved a letter.
> A letter from *Fortran*.
GA! His henchman might have killed me! T think! [other dragons begin to
huddle around Annoying and the pedestal]
hey hey hey hey hey! gimme some spaaaaaaaaaaaaaace... yeah baby :D

> For some reason your anger rises.
some reason... D:< (like, read that backwards eh?)

> You start reading the letter to
> figure out what in the name of all the hells of all the gods is going
> on.
>
> +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
>
> Greetings Fellow Dragons,
HA! I scoff at your fellow usage!

> Your fellow Dragons think you are dead. At my hands.
yes *Annoying seems to be doubling the bandwith whilst only adding
1-liners*
hey, I didn't get this name because I only downloaded the roster to the
A's

> No, I have not taken leave of my senses, for as you can see, you
> are quite alive.
*Annoying looks down and pulls a plastic bolt from his scales* oh...
Silly me *surrounding dragons fall down -Anime style*

> I have removed you from Brittania to one of my 'safe
> Weyrs' between the worlds so that each of you, if you will, can aid me
> in thwarting what I perceive great danger to the Dragons as a whole. I
> hope I am wrong, but I fear for us all.
>
> Many Dragons in Britannica are ... gone. Utterly gone.
*blink*
> They can no longer be found by any of the normal and magical
> methods available to us. For what reason or by who's hand I do not
> know. Because of the Great Comet currently afflicting Britannia, great
> magics and great powers are of no avail to us -- otherwise I would have
> summoned the Great Conclave to hear my suspicions.
con...clave...

> When I realized what was happening I started my own little plan.
> I would make Dragons disappear too, in hopes that whatever is stalking
> the Dragons would approach me. Perhaps I can defeat it, but I imagine
> that I will almost certainly fail. Mayhaps I will be able to sound an
> alarm and focus the Dragons on their peril. I do not know if I can even
> do that.
>
> All of you are my safeguard in case I fall into darkness never to
> return. In you I can rest my hopes for I believe each of you as a team
> can succeed. I hope to muddy the waters by my actions so much (away
> from all of you) so that by stealth and the brilliance that shines from
> each of your minds you will prevail in the end.
unggh *Annoying places his hands on the alter* unggh *he bows his head
in worry*
I smell another reorg! *The dragons fall down once again*
"stop that" [one of them shouts]

> Each of you, from the newest hatchling, to the staunched Greybeard
> is needed. Please, go forth through the arch and search for the missing
> Dragons! If this task is too perilous for you then you are more than
> welcome to stay here as you will be safe here. No one will fault you.
*darts eyes around*
> For those that enter the arch and take up the search, I salute
> you. You are the candle against the darkness and though the road
> will be long and difficult nothing will be hidden from you in the end.
>
> A few quick words of advice. If I can send more help to you I
> will. That will depend on each Dragon putting themselves into potential
> peril for me to take. Each Dragon will be sent here first, and then
> they will be able to enter the Arch of Strange Attractors to find those
> of you that choose to search out this unknown menace to the Dragons.
Chessboy! *Annoying clenches his fist*

> Because of the Great Comet your most powerful magics and
> powers will not work. Be careful working even your medium magics and
> powers for they can make you stand out like a oasis in the desert if
> eyes are watching for you.
*brooding laughter* I have done battle before without my powers, I have
stood toe to toe with the might Samurai in a pie fight. I have tossed
mountains of cinnabons at those who have stood in my way -and if there
is a creature mightier than the sweet, sticky, creamy, icingy,
cinnamony, goodness of a Cinnabon, heaven help us!

> I have tried to help you by giving you a Dragon to hunt for first.
> From him, if you can find him, you should be able to find your way.
>
> If I can I will try to leave you any clues I find with any new
> members that come to you. I dare not try to contact you unless the need
> is dear or the information crucial for I could compromise your mission.
Exams coming up eh?
*the alter winces somehow*
Nan ja?
> If there is no one I will leave a letter with my trusted agents.
> The letter will be sealed with the sign of a candle, but trust that not
> too much for they may be compromised.
What letter?

> Also, not all Dragons that are gone may be gone because this
> menace.
*Annoying looks down and sees that his breast is bleeding perfusly*
AHH! GOTTA PUT THE BOLT BACK IN!
"no" [someone shouts] "don't put it back"
ahh! *annoying removes the bolt again*
"no, don't pull it back out if you've already put it in"
AAAH!

> <sigh> I know it complicates your struggles to have to contend
> with possible dead-ends, but perhaps any Dragon that is found will help
> you further your searches.
"No!"
AHHH!

> You might want to leave a way of identifying each other here. I
> can not enter this place every again to see what you do so this place is
> safe even from me.
"Don't put it back in"
AHHH!

> Finally, trust only each other. Until the peril is defeated trust
> no one else, not even me.
"Stop it"
AHHH!

> Fair winds and clear skies,
> Fortran
>
> +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
>
> After reading the letter you almost believe you hear a voice
> saying "One little dragon, two little dragons, three little dragons,
> ...". The voice fades as it continues to count higher and higher.
>
> <pop>
>
> <pop>
>
> <pop>
>
> Dragons start appearing. Some you know, some you don't. All are
> momentarily confused.
>
> <pop>
>
> <pop>
>
> As the pops continue you realize it is time to make a decision...
Okay..... *huff* i'll leave the bolt in.

> --
>
> Fortran Dragon -==(UDIC)==- | "There isn't enough darkness in the world
> -=[MT]=- | to quench the light of one small candle."
> Hidalgo Trading Company: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/index.html>
> rgcud FAQ: <http://home.earthlink.net/~fortran/faq/rgcudfaq.html>

*Annoying hunches over, sways left, then right, and collapses*
Annoying Dragon (Deceased???)

B.T.J. King

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
Destrius wrote:
>
> ...and it was written on the heavens that on Sun, 29 Nov 1998 20:22:57 -0600,
> the entity named Fortran Dragon (for...@earthlink.net)
> inscribed the following words in rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons:
>
> -clip-
> > As the pops continue you realize it is time to make a decision...
> -clip-
>
> Destrius looks around at the cluster of Dragons in the room.
>
> "Hmmm. Methinks we should have a rollcall before entering the arch, and
> perhaps enter as small groups.
>
> "Fortran said something about not trusting anybody, however. Does that mean
> I can't trust you guys? Or can I? ..."
>
> Destrius thinks a moment,

*obvious from the smell of burning and the licks of flames comin out of
his ears*

>and then makes up his mind.
>
> "Okay. I'm going in. Whoever wants to join me, say so."
>

At this point Armadillo Dragon pops into existance. He's slightly
pissed off as he was just about to start one of his infamous siestas,
usually involving a bucket, a bottle of tequila, a large elderly male
elk, four maidens of assorted colours (one red, two brunetes and one
blonde), a rubber glove and a large vat of custard......hmmmmmm custard.
He's still wearing his sombrero.
"bugger" he remarks to himself.
Quickly he whips of his sombrero and wanders over to the pedestal.
After fully digesting the contents, then regurgitating them when he
realises that there's only one copy of Fortrans note to go around.
Looking around with a steely glare he spots the still smouldering
Destrius Dragon standing by the gate.
Quickly he whips out his trusty baguette and gives it a few expert
swings, slightly concussing a small dishreveled dragon that materialises
behind him as he catches (by accident) on the backswing. If death is
coming for him, he's going out of this multiverse like he came into it,
kicking and screaming bloody murder.

Walking over to Destrius he acknowledges his previous question with an
empthatic nod of his scaly head.

"Sure Des, if you go first"

With that he follows Destrius into the great unknown


^bUngle the Happy Spanker
AKA Armadillo Dragon of the -=UDIC=-
Wielder of the Sacred Blackrock Baguette

> <----------------------------------------------------------->
>
> READ: Multiple plot threads that can meet up with each other!
>
> --
> +-------------------+-----------------------------------------------------+
> | Destrius Dragon | -=*[UnSPLUT!]*=- |
> | Official Mad Mage | Web: http://destrius.simplenet.com |
> | -=*[~UDIC~]*=- | Email: d e s t r i u s @ g e o c i t i e s . c o m |
> +-------------------+-----------------------------------------------------+
> | "Am I dreaming of a butterfly, or is the butterfly dreaming of me...?" |
> +-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

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