Wednesday, December 10, 2003

My depression is lifting. My thanks to those who offered their sympathy.

Just to change things around a little bit, here’s the beginning of a bit of story. I’d like to post a bit more of it every Wednesday, like Saalon‘s Half-Tail stories.

Grothnir raised his blood-encrusted battleaxe above his mighty mane of golden hair and, with a roar, was about to bring it down on the grizzled head of the hapless guard before him when, suddenly, his beeper went off.

Grothnir paused just long enough for the guard to whip out his glistening sword and hold it with two shaking hands in front of him. Grothnir sighed. He didn’t have time to finish this.

“You’re lucky,” he said to the quivering guard, and disappeared.

Thomas Aznable frowned into the dark grey void of inactive VR; he was clsoe to levelling up Grothnir to level 10, which was the practical minimum before anyone would really talk to you in the Lotharian Nights. Client B was anxious for progress in the Case of the Two Missing Swords, and he was the nervous type, always wanting a status report. Still. The beeper meant new business.

Thomas made a few hand gestures to pull up his main interface, then touched the pulsing red box as it appeared. A large, green-bordered window appeared before him, and within it, a male avatar. It was a stock Japanese model; a dark grey high school uniform hung perfectly on a late-teen body which was topped with an atttractive, bland face and a mop of short black hair. Thomas frowned again; he had little respect for people who couldn’t even bother to customize their avatar.

“Hello,” the avatar said in a high, whining man’s voice. Sounded like a forty-year-old obese science fiction fan. Probably wanted the bra size on the latest Japanese pop idol. Though considering how young they were getting these days….

Thomas pushed that thought away; this was business. “Yes?” he replied, trying to be courteous despite his mild annoyance.

“I…uhhh…I understand you…find things,” the avatar said, fidgeting slightly. This was why Thomas loved virphones; they provided such a rich library of body language. And you could have the body of a ten-foot demon, if you wanted to.

“Yes,” he replied, keeping his voice cool and neutral, “on any non-restricted vir system. What do you want to find?”

The avatar fidgeted. “I need you to switch to a secure connection first.”

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