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Library: Tales of Adventure I - Tulkas

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Author: Shadowjack
Date:Nov 2 1995

Transcribed:  Sat Nov 26 21:39:55 EST 1994

The world of Batmud had reincarnated again for its fourth time and
once more I found myself upon this land's soil.  After exploring the
remodelled Bat City, I continued my re-orientation by wandering the
player valley and looking for castles of long lost comrades.

The shouts of alarmed figurines echoed constantly throughout the
valley during these days of Batmud's re-awakening.  "Help me, I'm
being attacked by Shades!"  "Help me, I'm being attacked by
Greyhame!"  I shrugged; business as usual.  "Some things never
change," I quietly chuckled to myself.

My explorations of the valley had exhausted me, so I started a fire
and began hunting.  The routine screams from figurines worked to my
advantage, as the rats and squirrels I came across could not hear my
clumsy approach.  Soon I had a veritable feast before me, and began
cooking my meals.

Suddenly I felt another being's mind merge with my own, and a message
popped into my mind:  "10."  That was it.  I could sense the calling
came from Tulkas, but as to what the mysterious message meant, I had
no idea.  I checked my local surroundings, and yes, Tulkas was indeed
in the valley with me.  I pondered what I should do, while the
continual cries of figurines echoed around me.

I was about to inquire Tulkas about the meaning of his terse message,
but my stomach grumbled, reminding me of my hunger.  "Oh well, it was
probably just an echo from an immortal", I thought to myself.  "Tulkas
would have no reason to communicate with me, and he certainly wouldn't
recognize me under this incarnation."  I shrugged and returned to
finishing my savory meal.

After filling my stomach with the finest of Bat's woodland cuisine, I
snuffed my campfire and was ready to explore some more -- when
suddenly there was a warp in the space time continuum!  To my horror,
an exact duplicate of myself crawled through this rip in time and
immediately began attacking!  I recognized these evil clones from my
previous visits to this world, but this was a new body I had
incarnated into:  I knew I could not defeat this nightmarish foe on
my own.

I mentally called out to Gunbuster, and found he too was battling
these malevolent creatures in Bat City.  I dodged another strike from
my relentless enemy and, swearing to come back later to exact my
revenge, I entered Bat City to help Gunbuster battle these twisted
fiends.

Gunbuster and I quickly met at the central square, and then, with grim
determination, we began exterminating this alien threat.  Side by
side, we battled these clones up and down the streets of Bat,
occasionally passing other citizens who had also taken up arms.  We
passed by Chra, who was calmly incinerating clones with a wave of her
many legs.  The mighty Haulk ran by, chasing a fleeing clone while
grinning with bloodlust.

We ourselves were pursuing Gunbuster's clone, when we passed Tulkas in
the streets.  Gunbuster hurried by in order to keep up with the clone,
but not before Tulkas took a few swings at Gunbuster!  "Was that
Tulkas' clone?" I asked Gunbuster in confusion.  Gunbuster stopped for
a moment and paused, concentrating on something.  "No," he abruptly
replied.  "Break your link to this world!"

I was bewildered now, and was about to ask for further explanation,
when Tulkas stormed into the room, chopping away with two fearsome
axes.  Gunbuster again broke into a run, and I followed swiftly
behind.  "Why is Tulkas after you?" I asked.  Gunbuster turned
to me and answered in a dead serious tone:  "He's not.  He's after
*you!*  Break your link to this world, quickly!"

Before I could act, Tulkas suddenly burst into the room again, hatred
burning in his eyes.  Gunbuster parried Tulkas' axe swings bravely, in
order to give me time to escape, when I noticed the wands Tulkas had
palmed in his hands.  Gouts of flames shot out from these wands,
engulfing my friend in a firey fountain.

I rushed over to Gunbuster to help him drive off this crazed lunatic,
but Gunbuster just shouted at me, "Go!  Just drop your link!  NOW!"
I couldn't bear abandoning my friend, but the urgency in his voice was
too demanding.  I hastily evoked the spell of disconnection, and
suddenly the world of Bat disappeared around me...

++++++++++++++++++++

Concerned for Gunbuster's safety, I quickly returned to Bat, although
I chose the incarnation of a Visitor until matters could be resolved.

"Are you okay??" I asked Gunbuster via a mental message.  "Yeah, I'm
fine," Gunbuster's reply promptly came back, "but apparently Tulkas
thinks you robbed somes castles, that why he's after you."

I rolled my eyes as I recalled the message I had received from Tulkas
earlier in the day, when we had both been in the player valley amidst
the figurine shouts.

"Oh, yeah, well fuck 'em, I don't care what he thinks", I told
Gunbuster.  "No, just trying straightening things out," Gunbuster
advised.

I sighed to myself, but sent a mental message to Tulkas explaining my
innocence.  No response at all.  I remembered him from the world of
Bat's previous incarnations, but of course since I had not been under
the incarnation of Shadowjack when Tulkas was born into Bat, there was
no reason he should recognize me now.

Growing impatient, I checked to see who in the lands of Bat might
still remember me, to vouch for my innocence.  Aha, my long time
friend, Mowgli!  I quickly relayed the situation to Mowgli, who then
in turn began reasoning with Tulkas.

In the meanwhile, the clone crisis continued.  Gunbuster was
continuing his bitter struggle with these bastard beasts, which made
me think of my evil clone which I had left roaming free.

After what seemed like hours, Mowgli sent word to me that a resolution
had been made; Tulkas would stop hunting me if I promised not to rob
any more castles.  I laughed to myself at the absurdity of this, but
this was better than nothing.  I thanked Mowgli for his help, and told
Gunbuster that I would incarnate as Shadowjack again to aid in driving
off the remaining hardy clones.

I promptly returned as Shadowjack -- but on my re-arrival, Gunbuster
immediately sent me the urgent warning, "Tulkas is after you!"
Instinctively I spoke the word of disconnection, and for the second
time that day, the world of Bat disappeared around me...

++++++++++++++++++++

...And for the second time that day, I returned to Bat incarnated as a
Visitor.  "*Now* what??" I asked Gunbuster in exasperation.
Gunbuster's reply soon came back to me:  "Hehe, you disconnected too
quickly for me to finish what I was going to say.  Tulkas is after
your *clone!*"

Grrr.  :)


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