|Grimmora, 9:00 am, Computer Lab|
|Honen: Rosalyn? Rosalyn, wake up.|
|Deuce: Um...what? WHAT? Honen? Where am I?
|Honen: You silly woman, you fell asleep in ze lab again. You've been here all night.
|Deuce: Oh, I see...I can fall asleep just about anywhere. Comes from years of living aboard a cramped little spacecraft. So. *yawn* At least my experiments are finished running. Better log the results. How are you today, Honen?
|Honen: Fine, I suppose. I must prepare for ze archaeology trip. Thought I'd say goodbye first.
|Deuce: Really? Are you leaving so soon? |
|Honen: Aye. Are you sure you're going to be allright?
|Deuce: Yes, I'm VERY capable of handling myself, Honen. Um...wait, don't go just yet. Hold on...
|Deuce: Here, take this with you.
|Honen: What iz it?
|Deuce: Those are my dog tags. Just put them around your neck...like this...and they'll bring you luck...if you believe in that sort of thing...Well, at the very least, they'll remind you of me.|
|Honen: I see. Thank you, Rosalyn. I should go now...|
|Honen: ... You're being paged.|
|Deuce: *Click* Yeah, this is Deuce here. What's up?
|Jack: Thank GOODNESS, I finally got through to somebody! I would've called earlier, but Raymond is completely effed in the head and I couldn't call with him watching me constantly! I had to wait until he stepped out to fix a tire.
|Deuce: Jack!! Is that really you? Where are you??
|Jack: I...I don't really know where I'm at. Raymond's been driving like he has an agenda, but I truly don't think he knows where he's headed. Um...I'll leave the beacon on so you can trace it. Think you can come after us?|
|Deuce: Jack, can't you just fly back home?
|Jack: I could if I knew where I'm at, but I have no idea which direction to fly. Besides, don't you want the moonbuggy back?|
|Deuce: Your safety's my first concern, but okay. I'll trace it. Just try to keep the beacon on at all costs.|
|Jack: Okay, I've gotta go, Raymond's coming back. Don't want him to catch me talkin' to you. Later.|
|Deuce: Damn. The Bluejay's not ready yet. We'll have to go by dragon or furrow.|
|Honen: Rosalyn, if you get ze moonbuggy back, then you can get back on track to returning to Darlos...|
|Deuce: I'll continue to work on the moon project for Lizaki and for Tomi, but I'm serious when I say I am not going back. I'm happy with my job here and I have nothing and nobody on Darlos. It wouldn't even be worth it for me to visit there. Honen, I made this decision long before I started... having... feelings for you... So, don't think it's only because of you...
|Honen: I understand. I just don't want you to make bad decision dat you will regret later and...
|Deuce: Once Tomi returns to the Alliance and reports that Phainein's atmosphere is safe, then the condemned status will be lifted and ships can come here any time. So if sometime in the future, I did change my mind, I can just radio someone to come get me. But I really seriously doubt I will. Um...Honen...um...I'm not sure how to ask this, but...Are you bothered that I'm not an Oni?|
|Honen: Hm? Oh, no, of course not. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am very proud Oni, but...Um... Not real sure what I'm saying, but no, it doesn't bother me. You are very nice young woman. I should probably be going now, Rosalyn. Don't want to keep ze professor waiting.
|Deuce: Goodbye, Honen! *hugs* Have fun and I'll see you when you return. |
|Honen: *soupir* Goodbye and good luck finding dat moonbuggy. |
|Robin: Honen? Are you leaving already?|
|Honen: Yes, Ms. Calypson. You promise me you keep eye on her, right?|
|Robin: Of course. Although it's kind of strange. I've always thought of Deuce as being tougher than me.|
|Honen: She iz very tough and dat's what bothers me. If Mr. Forrester becomes too much for her, she might be too proud to ask for help. |
|Robin: Well, Lizaki and Preston and I will keep an eye on things. |
|Honen: Oh, and by ze way...She got a call from Mr. Sheen. He's turned on a beacon to allow Deuce to trace ze moonbuggy. She will probably need someone to go with her on ze trip and...|
|Robin: Really?! Jack's turned on the homing beacon? Allright! That's great news! Don't worry, Honen. I'll go see Deuce about it and Chester and I will go with her. |
|Honen: Dat makes me so happy, Ms. Calypson. I shall go now before ze Overlord gets impatient.
|Robin: The Overlord?? Don't you mean Nucleo?
|Honen: Aye, him, too...but to tell ze truth...Ze overlord tends to send me away on zees trips when she feels she's starting to use me too much. Her way of getting rid of me for awhile.
|Robin: Oh, I see. Well, good luck on your trip. Can I hug you goodbye?|
|Honen: I would prefer you people not make habit of zis...but ah heck, go ahead. Payment for looking after Ms. Koma for me, I suppose.|
|Robin: See you later, Dr. Calzoun. *hugs*|
|Honen: *soupir* What have I become?|
|Jack: I swear, Raymond, you don't have a fucking clue where you're going.|
|Raymond: Please do not swear, Mr. Sheen. Only mean people swear. >=(|
|Jack: Yeah, well, I am a mean person. Look at my avatar. That is not the face of someone who is all sugar and spice, you know. |
|Raymond: Well, I do know where I'm going, Mr. Sheen. That I do, allright. >=(|
|Jack: No you friggin' don't! Are you driving through a bog or something? There's mud hitting the windshield! How can you know where you're going, you can't even SEE where you're going!|
|Raymond: I DO know where I'm going, Mr. Sheen!!! I am... =O
*THUD!* *CLANK!* *sputterrrr....*
|Jack: You know, man, that's just great. You do realize I'm gonna have to tell Deuce and Tomi that you held a gun to my head and forced me to go on this trip, right? |
|Raymond: Calm down, Mr. Sheen. I'll go to the back of the car and get the flashlight so I can look around outside and see what we hit.|
|Jack: Yeah, you just go do that. I think I'll wait here. ...
...da hell...is tapping on the windshield...?
|Raymond: Mr. Sheen, why are you screaming back there? >=(|
|Jack: *huff* *huff* There's something out there.|
|Raymond: Where? >=(|
|Jack: Outside...It hit the windshield. I think it was...an old forum post!
|Raymond: What? Are you out of your mind, Mr. Sheen? |
|*BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!*|
|Jack: There it is! Listen! LISTEN!
|Raymond: ...I'm going out there...|
|Jack: ARE YOU CRAZY!?
|Raymond: I just got this buggy back together. I'm not going to let
something tear it apart. >=(|
|Jack: I think it might be better if I stay here...
*Tap!* *Tap!* *Tap!*
Outside the Moonbuggy
|Jack: This ground sure feels strange. It doesn't feel like rock at
|Raymond: There's an awful lot of moisture in here...
|Jack: I don't know, Raymond. I have a bad feeling about this.|
|Raymond: Yeah. =( ...WATCH OUT!!!|
|Jack: See? That's what I thought. They're old forum posts! Wait a minute...|
|Raymond: What is it, Mr. Sheen?|
|Jack: You...moron!! I just realized where we are...all the water on the ground, the posts...that echoing maniacal laughter...|
|Raymond: What echoing maniacal laughter? |
|Jack: YOU'VE DRIVEN US RIGHT INTO THE GAME POND, YOU FLUNK!!! And from the looks of it, it's the Total Nonsense Forum...oh man, oh crap...|
|Raymond: Calm down, Mr. Sheen. The Nonsense Forum was one of the best forums on the Game Pond. Now if it was the General Discussion forum, I could understand your distress...|
|Jack: I don't flippin' care, wisenheimer! This place is haunted, it's cursed, it's spooked! I'm getting out of here...oh crap, it's so dark here, I have no idea which way to fly...And there are eyes everywhere!|
|Raymond: This could not have worked out better if I had planned it.|
|Jack: I THOUGHT YOU WERE PLANNING IT!!|
|Raymond: Oh, yes, I suppose you're right, Mr. Sheen, I was.|
|Jack: Wait, wait, wait. Lemme get this straight. You planned to drive right into the middle of the Game Pond?? Okay, aside from how completely ASININE that idea is, why the bloody H-E-double-hockey-sticks did it take you 25 sketches to get here?!? You've been here before, here's the proof!|
|Raymond: It's a longer drive from Grimmora to here than from Port Saiid to here. >=(
|Jack: But you do realize that according to that topic, we'll become invisible and disappear if we stay here too long?|
|Raymond: Relax. We're only staying long enough to find the wishing topic.|
|Jack: Grgerghijumo, WHAT??? WTF is a "Wishing Topic"? |
|Raymond: I asked the Overlord for a new avatar and she wouldn't give me one because she said this one fit my personality too well. But it looks so terrible compared to everyone else's. =(
I know that somewhere in this massive sea of posts there is a wishing topic where you can get a new avatar if you just ask nicely.
|Jack: Raymond, Raymond, Raymond, I know it's difficult, but please THINK for a moment. Even if such a thing as a "Wishing Topic" still exists, no one comes here anymore, so there is no one to fill out your avatar request. Secondly, how the hell are you going to find such a topic amongst all this crap before we become ghosts?|
|Jack: I really can't take any more of this.|
|Raymond: You worry too much, Mr. Sheen. My magic bellstaff will lead me right to it. But I might have to venture into a different forum because I don't think it was in this one, so you may want to stay here. This one's relatively harmless...The other forums...can get a little nasty.|
|Jack: Allright, but if you ain't back before I start disappearin', I'm outta here, man. Got that?|
|Raymond: I'll be back before you know it, Mr. Sheen. =)|
|Jack: Okay, Jack, just try to stay calm. Try to stay calm...|
|Jack: Jesus!! .. Stay calm...stay calm...|
|Jack: Sorry, buddy, have no clue where it could be.|
|Jack: ... ... ... ... |
|Jack: .................... |
|Jack: ... ... ... ... |
|Jack: Damn, that's a long custom user title... |
|Jack: What the hell is the obsession with ruling the... |
|Jack: OKAY, THAT'S IT!!! THAT DOES IT!!! There will be absolutely NO smooshing in topics while I'M AROUND!!! Damn, I have REALLY got to get outta here. Disappearing or not, I can't wait on Raymond any longer. |
|Jack: I said that's ENOUGH!! Dammit, reading these old topics is like being Andy Richter in a staring contest. |
|James: Do you really want to know how to get out of here?|
|Jack: Who...are you?|
|James: I'm the ghost of James FP's past. I used to be the king of this forum. It's nothing but a wasteland now, but it was once my favorite place on the whole internet. |
|Jack: Oh...I'm sorry to hear that...I once lived in a swamp, too, and had it all taken from me...|
|James: Don't be sorry. Memories are like a chain that link the past with the present day. Look around. Almost no one else's avatars are working anymore. But mine is. Mine never disappeared. You know why?|
|Jack: Uh...abandoned Homestead account?|
|James: It's because James never forgot this place. He never forgot what it meant to him, and thus I am able to live on in his memories.|
|Jack: I see. But, dude, what happens if this place ever ceases to exist? |
|James: Well, then, I'll just live on at web archive. Back to my earlier question: Don't you want to know how to get out of here?|
|Jack: Oh, yeah, I forgot about that. So...what do I do? I don't have an ezboard account so I can't make any posts...|
|James: Don't worry about that. All you have to do is put on these pink fuzzy bunny slippers and make a wish.|
|Jack: Are you out of your gourd?? This is no time for more nonsense posting!!|
|James: It's not nonsense, it really works! Try it!|
|Jack: Oh, for pete's sake...Allright...|
|Raymond: Hi, Mr. Sheen, I'm back! It worked! I found the wishing topic, and I now have a brand new avatar! >|)
Umm Mr. Sheen...Where'd you get those weird slippers? >=(
Well, that's just fine and dandy, but that ISN'T what I wished for! You knew Raymond was coming and just had me put these on to humiliate myself in front of him, didn't you?
|Raymond: Mr. Sheen, who are you talking to?|
|Jack: The Ghost of James FP! He's standing right...
W...where'd he go??
HE WAS RIGHT HERE!!!
|Raymond: Uh-huh, Mr. Sheen. I'm quite sure he was. |
|Jack: Don't give me that! He was RIGHT there! Don't tell me you didn't see him! |
|Raymond: James FP left here long ago with everyone else. And now it's time for us to leave, too.|
|Jack: But how? The moonbuggy is still stuck in the bog.|
|Raymond: Mr. Sheen, did you wish for a helicopter?|
|Jack: No. Why?|
|Raymond: I hear a helicopter.|
|Jack: Great. Now you're hearing things, too...|
|Jack: Wait! Now I'm hearing it. Hey, that's not just any 'copter, that's...|
|Chester: Dude! I think I see them down below, in the Nonsense Forum. |
|Deuce: Allright, put 'er in hover. I'm droppin' the ladder.|
|Chester: Dude! I mean, Roger! |
|Robin: Wooo...so this is the infamous Game Pond, huh? I've only heard the stories. Never actually been here or seen it with my own eyes...|
|Jack: Deuce! Am I EVER so glad to see you! Is that...Skeezy's Dudeacopter you have there?|
|Deuce: Yup. It's the only aircraft we could get on such short notice.|
|Jack: He gave you permission to use it?|
|Deuce: Well...we sort of...borrowed it...But, he hasn't updated in 2 years, so maybe he won't notice it's gone.|
|Chester: Dude! You guys are gonna have to make this quick! Dude...I'm trying to say "dude" as much as possible to keep this thing going, but, dude, it's awful hard for just one man to handle it on his own.|
|Deuce: Allright, Chet. We're going. Jack, get in the Dudeacopter and go with Chester and Robin. Raymond, you're coming with me in the moonbuggy. I'm placing you under arrest for theft, reckless driving, kidnapping, trespassing on private property, and...Raymond? Where the hell did he go?? |
|Jack: Maybe he disappeared. We've probably been here too long.|
|Deuce: What? I don't understand...|
|Jack: Nevermind. Just forget him. He knows his way out of this place, he's been here before. I'll go with you in the moonbuggy. I don't really trust that 'copter. But the buggy is stuck in the mud.|
|Deuce: No problem. Lizaki had just completed work on this adaptor for it:
It will allow the buggy to travel through water without a hitch.
Robin! Chet! I'm heading out! You two can go back now, Jack is coming with me.
|Robin: Roger, Deuce! Over and out.. Allright, buddy, get it in gear, and whatever you do, don't quit saying "dude".|
|Chester: Dude! I mean, Robin...I mean, dude! I mean...oh shit! Let's just go. |
|Deuce: Allright, I've got the adaptor installed, Jack. She'll swim like a fish now. ... Jack? Is everything okay?|
|Jack: Yeah...it's just...too bad he couldn't have come.|
|Deuce: Raymond? I thought you weren't worried about him.|
|Jack: No, not Raymond. James FP. He was here. He gave me these slippers...|
|Deuce: Jack, I'm sure you'll see James again. He hangs out at Port Saiid all the time.|
|Jack: No, no, you don't understand. It wasn't that James, it was like a younger version of him. Just talking to him suddenly made me remember all these things that used to be so important to me that I had just forgotten about over the years...|
|Deuce: This place is full of shadows, Jack. Shadows of everyone's past. A lot of good memories remain here, but some bad ones, too. Not everyone likes to reflect on it. Some left this place on very bad terms. Others simply dispersed with the winds. But there was a time when this place meant more to some people than anything else in the whole world. It helped them get through the troubles of school, relationships, bad parenting, job stress, health issues, and more. During the time they spent here together, they could forget all about their worries and laugh and have good times. |
|Jack: But it's gone now...|
|Deuce: People move on, Jack. It served its purpose and its time was over. It'd be nice if everyone could have a place like it to go to sometimes. Well, Grimmora is waiting. We better get going. |
|Jack: Okay. I guess I should leave the slippers here in case anyone else wanders in and needs to wish their way out. Thanks again for comin' after me, Deuce.|
|Deuce: No problem. I'm just glad you're safe. And hopefully, returning this moonbuggy to Tomi will get him off my case for awhile. Let's start 'er up.
*CRANK!* ... *CHUG-CHUG-CHUG* *COUGH*
Purrin' like a kitten! Engage!
|Jack: Farewell, James. Thanks for all of your help.|
|James: So long, Jack. Thanks for visiting this place again. |
|Raymond: So, you really are real. Jack wasn't imagining things. |
|James: Of course I'm real. But why didn't you go with them? |
|Raymond: I don't want to be arrested! >=(
I never did find that personality I was looking for here, but I think I've finally come into one of my own. I can go my own way now.
|James: Think you'll ever appear in this series again? |
|Raymond: Of course! I didn't go through all the trouble of getting this new picture only to use it just this one time. Well, I think there's a sunset waiting for me to ride off into it. Goodbye, Mr. James.|
|James: Goodbye and good luck, Raymond! May a thousand and one cheese doodles fall on your head!|
Is that a good thing? }=\
|Raymond: Oh, okay. Just making sure.|
|Morning comes and I know
It's time for moving on
Let it go, let it go now
As the road stretches on
The dust is left behind
And when you look to the east
And the morning sun is rising
Open your hand
And let the bird fly free
Watch him take wing
And he will follow
The chain of memories
That link our past with the present day
Follow him the morning after
Remember all the tears and laughter
The farther that we travel
The more that we will be leaving behind
Nothing can hold us...
We're leaving now
But I'll remember you
And when you look to the north
And you see the highest mountain
That's where I'll be...
I'll be standing just a moment
Before my shadow casts
Like a footprint on the past
And slips away with the sunset
Follow me the morning after
Remember all the tears and laughter
Through the hills and valleys
Through the sands and oceans
And the turbulent winds of time
We're leaving now
(We're leaving now)
But we'll remember you
- Flying Omelette, 2007