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The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby JillPole » Oct 25, 2009 6:49 pm

Portia Rizzo, beautiful, blonde, and Italian, carefully adjusted her straight hair into a perfect French twist in the mirror on the way out the door. She was meeting with a potential client this morning; they were huge, and having that contract on her resume would, she hoped, help her move up in this town.

Flicking a last look in the mirror to ensure her face was ready for the world, she stepped out into the morning. It was a glorious day in Statmond- the sun was up, round and yellow; the big city was alive, humming with traffic in its arteries and Monday on its mind.

Portia caught the 8:05 streetcar, which deposited her, still cheerful, upon the grey sidewalk at Broadlea and Lunvale. She purchased her usual black coffee in the little deli on the corner, and dropped a few coins in Hugh Boone’s cup and exchanged a few words with the panhandler, whose talent for repartee was so well-developed it meant he was practically busking.

She turned into the revolving glass door of a three-storey office building, greeted the petite Angelique at the front desk, and hurried to where Bob (or was it Dave? Both names were completely ubiquitous at Phoenix Consulting) was holding the elevator door for her. Portia made her way to her office, retrieved her research along with a pen, pad, and business cards, and went to the meeting, arriving in the well-appointed boardroom 15 minutes early.

She was absolutely calm and cheery- until the clients arrived.

* * *
Portia shut the door of her office behind her gently, then pressed her back up against it as hard as she could. She was shaking.

She breathed deeply for several minutes, pressing her hands to her sternum and trying to calm down, to center herself. Eventually she gained the courage to cross to the desk and pick up her cell phone. She called Denise, and got her voicemail.

Annoyed, she typed in their password to see if any of her messages would give her a clue as to where Denise might be. The first was a message from the dentist. Her roommate had an appointment this afternoon, apparently. But it was only 10, and it was her day off.

The light was blinking on her work phone. She punched the button aimlessly. The message, evidently left during the 10 minutes she had just spent trying to steady herself in the bathroom, sent a chill through her veins.

“Hello Portia,” said a pleasant, masculine voice. “Jeff Bennet calling, just as a follow-up to this morning’s meeting. We’d like you to come for a tour at your earliest availability. Can you give me a call back?”

The young engineer collapsed heavily into her chair, trying to come to some kind of rationalization for how he could be there.

When a knock came at the door, she tried to compose herself, and was terrified it might be him. But there was no escape, so as calmly as she could, she responded “come in.”

To her relief it was Sharon, Portia’s administrative assistant, and practically her mother. “Portia, honey, what in the world is going on?”

Portia bit her lower lip hard, and wrapped her arms around the shorter woman. “Oh Sharon, I need help,” she whispered hoarsely.

“What do you need, girl? I’m right here.”

“I don’t know if you can help me,” Portia let go her hold, and strode back to her desk. “But I wonder…my university roommate, she was good at intrigue. If I could find Sarah…”

Sometimes things happen, and it seems like the wildest coincidence. But as Portia’s eyes drifted to the pile of letters on her desk, an envelope with familiar handwriting jumped out at her.

“My goodness.”

…There is a reason why some people don’t believe in coincidence.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby starkat » Oct 26, 2009 7:07 am

“Katherine.” His voice was pointed and clipped.

She flinched. It was not often that her husband was or had been mad at her, but he was mad now. Katherine bit her lip and looked towards her feet. It was not that she did not want to share, but she was worried that he would not understand. She heard Gwanuig sigh and he put a hand on her chin to pull her eyes up to his. She felt his love for her through their bond and knew that he would not belittle her for her fears. It gave her the courage to speak her long buried fears. “I’m afraid to go back. All we ever do back there is get involved in battle. I don’t want to go back to that.”

He resisted the urge to shake his head. It would have to be something like this. His wife was young and her life had been manipulated since the day she was born. Her fears were well grounded in reality. Gwanuig thought carefully for a few minutes before replying in Sindarin. “Love, we have to go back. Our families are there. No matter how hard it is, that is where we belong.”

Katherine buried her head in her husband’s shoulder. “I’m tired of fighting,” she whispered.

It was too muffled to actually be heard, but Gwanuig knew. “You don’t have to go it alone anymore. I’m not going anywhere.”

She buried her head in his chest and listened to his heart beat. Even with the Ditto Team, her cousins, her brother, and the whole town at her side, it was not the same. She still, on some level, had to carry a lot alone. This was different. This was her other half, her partner for life, her husband. With him she could share her deepest fears and haunting memories. She had not really allowed the others to see the things that haunted her. A thought crossed her mind and she reached out through her bond.

Gwanuig nearly wept at the sensations coursing through his wife. No one should have to carry these memories alone. It was not what she had been through, but how it had affected her. She was so far from the young woman she had been on her foster parents’ farm that she felt like she could never be that way again.

He also knew that the reason for her doubts was that before they had crossed dimensions, she had hit the capacity of what she could absorb. Rochil’s doubts stemmed from the fact that she was uncertain she was ready to absorb more. Gwanuig knew differently. He took what she sent him and returned his acceptance and love. Through his long life, he had repeatedly learned that peace was found in the quiet moments between battles. It was something she would have to learn to accept. He held her trembling body in his arms until the shaking ceased.

“You are my wife. No matter what happens, or how far we may be apart, we will always be together.”

Katherine was finally ready to hear it. It was something she had needed to accept since their marriage. “Thank you,” she whispered. Sometimes having a bond with your husband where he can read your emotions could be a good thing. A wave of emotional exhaustion swept over her.

Angela and Broadway returned at that moment. Angela took in the tired state of their guests. “Why don’t we start that tour in the kitchen? I think we could all use a snack.”

Broadway’s look of excitement at his mate’s statement caused the whole group to laugh.

“Sounds good to us,” Katherine grinned.

While they were in the kitchen, Katherine flashed back to Angela’s words in the air and she was about to ask her what she meant, but sounds from one of the entryways caused her words to catch in her throat. The two travelers from another dimension turned and had to pick up their jaws from off of the floor. The significance of Angela’s statement became crystal clear as they were swept up into hugs. Words were pointless as old friends long separated were reunited.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby stargazer » Oct 28, 2009 6:56 pm

Katherine and Gwanuig were comfortably seated in the Great Hall of Castle Wyvern, still astonished that they were actually inside a medieval castle atop a modern skyscraper. More incredible still was that – after frustrating months of rumors and dead ends – they had had finally been reunited with their friends Erik and Abby.

A fire blazed on the large hearth, and steaming cups of tea rested on a small coffee table in front of them. Erik, however, had instead opted for a large mug of ice-cold Mountain Dew.

“Like you need caffeine,” Abby teased.

*I will soon enough, to keep up with a certain someone* he telepathically replied, grinning.

Then the couple, along with Erik’s parents, listened intently as Katherine and Gwanuig recounted their adventures, from eloping to their travels to Manhattan, ending with their hopes of returning to Ditto Town.

Most of it centered around their attempts to fit in when they first arrived. Katherine and Gwanuig had the gargoyles in stitches telling about their blunders and goofs. One particular story about a four-year-old, two hats, and Gwanuig’s ears had Erik laughing so hard he started to hiccup.

Katherine tried to gloss over her injury, but Erik asked about it.

“It was as serious as Thundershadow made it out to be. It was close.” Gwanuig took over the storytelling. “We were lucky in that we materialized near a home. Hospitals were not a fun thing to experience.”

Broadway nodded. He had seen too much of them in his lifetime. “At least you’re okay now.”

“Yes. I had a skilled surgeon. Though I would have given anything to have Lianna around. Some of her concoctions are pretty effective when it comes to pain management.”

The conversation shifted a bit as they told about their time getting to New York and finally around to getting back to Ditto Town.

"We can help with that,” Erik beamed. “We use a portal that happens to be near our Wyoming clan's home. We can fly there on one of the humans’ planes, and after that, getting back to town should be a snap." The faces of Katherine and her husband noticeably relaxed, and Erik spoke again. "Say, have I ever told you the tale of how I found the gateway?"

"No, but we'd like to hear it."

Angela and her daughter-in-law exchanged amused glances. "You've asked for it now," the younger female quipped with a smile.

"Once upon a time," Erik began with a grin, and Abby sighed contentedly as he took on what she liked to call his "bard voice." He'd long been a natural story-teller, but the talent had really blossomed with the arrival of their little one. It's because he has a captive audience, she smiled to herself. Still, there was no denying that their hatchling was captivated by his stories even if she couldn't understand a word he said, and the new mother was thrilled at all the attention he showered on their daughter.

He kept his account short and sweet, and as it ended, Abby quietly excused herself. “We have one more surprise for you,” Erik finished.

At this, the jade gargoyle reentered through the large double doors at one end of the hall. Behind her could be seen the castle parapets and the eternal twilight of the city, but all eyes were on the bundle she held.

All four gargoyles wore huge smiles, and suddenly Katherine, at least, knew what was wrapped in the blanket Abby carried. As she came closer, glimpses of auburn hair were visible, and for the moment soft gurgling joined the crackling fire as the only sounds to be heard in the huge hall.

“Katherine, Gwanuig, we want you to meet our daughter,” Abby said, lovingly lifting the infant out of the blanket for all to see. “This is Molly.”

“Oh, she’s adorable,” Katherine replied, eagerly yet gently taking the little one into her arms. Having only seen fully-grown gargoyles, she marveled over Molly’s tiny, fragile-looking deep purple wings and her little light-green talons and tail. The infant appreciated all the attention, smiling up at her and wrapping a hand around the finger Katherine offered.

“We’re really sorry we missed her hatching,” Katherine said. “We would have loved to have been there, but we were detained.” This last came with a wink.

The gargoyles quickly reassured them it was all right, and then began answering a barrage of questions about life with a tiny hatchling and how it compared to having a human infant. Everyone took turns holding Molly as this conversation went on.

“And that’s the main reason we’re here right now,” Abby concluded. “Everyone’s so eager to see her that we just couldn’t stay away.”

“This is the third clan we’ve visited in the last month,” Erik added. “I’m looking forward to a little peace and quiet – not that I haven’t enjoyed showing off our daughter to everyone we meet.” He chuckled.

Katherine smiled as Erik bounced little Molly on his knee; in that moment he looked just like any ordinary human adult spoiling his child. "It looks like fatherhood agrees with you."

"You bet," he beamed. He looked down into his daughter’s face and smiled. “I never really knew what to expect, but now I realize how special having your own child is.”

Abby quickly agreed, and this led into more parenting stories. While Molly was too young to do much more than look cute, Erik’s parents had no shortage of tales about him. One detailed his eager attempt, when he was barely older than Molly was now, to sample some of his father’s very spicy Indian food. Rather than scare him away from such things, before long he couldn’t get enough of the stuff. “That explains his appetite for those jalapeno hushpuppies,” Katherine remarked after Angela had finished her story.

Much later, Katherine had the baby gargoyle in her lap once more, but the Ditto Rider’s cooing was suddenly interrupted by an unexpected yawn. She tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle it. Katherine looked over at her hosts, embarrassed, but they rushed to put her at ease.

"Oh, we're sorry," Erik exclaimed. "Sometimes we still forget that not everyone stays up all night. It's past 2 am, and you must be exhausted. Let me show you to the guest rooms."

Reluctantly, Katherine rose and returned Molly to her mother. "Thanks; it's been a long day – but a wonderful one!"

"Yes it has! We’re so glad to see you again," Abby said as she took the offered bundle into her arms. "Pleasant dreams; we’ll see you tonight."
But all night, Aslan and the Moon gazed upon each other with joyful and unblinking eyes.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby starkat » Oct 30, 2009 6:36 pm

Normally, Gwanuig rested in the manner of his people, but since coming to this world and marrying a human, he had spent many evenings sleeping. Tonight was one such night. It was not long before he found himself in the throws of a dream that was more memory than dream…

Consciousness returned with a sudden jolt. Gwanuig pushed up from the ground where he found himself lying, but didn't make it any further than his hands and knees. The air around him seemed to compress and expand making it almost impossible to breathe for a moment. When he could feel his lungs expand and contract again he realized what had happened. The dimensional rift had sealed itself.

Rochil! He looked around for her and finally realized that she was lying next to him. The elf prince pulled her into his lap without getting up. His head was pounding. "Katherine?" He felt for a pulse and breathed a huge sigh of relief as it throbbed beneath his fingers.

His next thought was to check her injury. The arrow still protruded out of her shoulder. He tried to break the shaft, but his hand shook so hard that he feared doing additional harm. The air in this world felt thick and cloying. Normally, Gwanuig drew strength from the surrounding life, but here that connection seemed just out of reach.

There was only one other thing he could do. "HELP!" he called out with all of his remaining strength and slumped over losing consciousness. Footsteps drew his attention and he called out again just before passing out.

Sometime later, a gentle, cool touch brought him around. His eyes flickered open and he stared into the face of an older man wearing a white coat.

"Well, hello there. Good to see you awake."

Gwanuig's only thought was for the woman he loved, "Rochil?" It did not occur to him that the person in front of him would not understand elvish until he saw the blank look being aimed at him.

The elvish confused the man for a moment until Gwanuig started to struggle to sit up. "Whoa there son!" The doctor put a restraining hand down on his shoulder. The elf's weakened state meant that it did not take much to keep him down. His patient was weak from exhaustion and the journey through the lock.

Realization dawned in the doctor's eyes. "Are you referring to the woman who was with you?" The doctor smiled as the elf nodded. "We got the arrow out. She's lost a lot of blood and is still very weak, but she should be ok."

Gwanuig had never felt so relieved. His head swam and he passed out again.

A couple of days later the doctor finally allowed the elf prince out of bed. Gus took him straight to Katherine's bed side. "She hasn't regained consciousness yet, but she is stable and the infection is responding to antibiotics."

"When will she wake up?"

"We can't predict that kind of thing, but I hope soon. Now, why don't you tell me a bit about yourself and your friend?"

Gwanuig scrambled to think up a believable story. Hard to do when one did not know anything about the world he was currently in. He tried to adapt his speech patterns to those of his friends in Ditto Town. "We were out hiking in the woods and got turned around. We've been out there for several days. I don't remember everything that happened."

Gus nodded. That his patient was leaving things out was obvious, but the doctor let it go. Sometimes it was just better not to ask. "Son, I do have a question. It's been something that has been puzzling me ever since you were brought in. Why are your ears pointed? Your blood work also showed some unusual elements."

The story Gwanuig had just constructed seemed to crumble around him. "Uh, I, ummm."

"Michael?" came a whispered voice from the nearby bed.

Gwanuig whirled around so fast that he nearly knocked into a stack of medical equipment. He scooted his chair over to her bedside. "Katherine?!" He should not have been surprised that she called him by his human name instead of his elvish name. She was usually more aware of these types of things.

Katherine held the hand of her uninjured arm out and he took it carefully. Gus realized that any further questions would have to wait. This young man, no matter what his differences, was obviously head over heels for the woman and it looked like his feelings were returned. He slipped out of the room leaving them alone.

Gwanuig became aware of his surroundings as the dream faded. He let out a long slow breath and checked to see how the woman at his side was resting. Katherine was sound asleep. Dreams were a part of sleep that the elven prince did not really care for. Usually, when he had a dream he would get up and spend the rest of the evening resting in elvish fashion. Tonight, he did not want to leave Katherine’s side. He looked down at her only to see her looking back at him.

“Can’t sleep?”


“Me too.” She whispered. “Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine?”

Gwanuig gave her the short version. He had told her this before. She did not have many memories of the actual event because she had been so weak. She started in on hers as he finished his retelling.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby starkat » Nov 05, 2009 1:56 pm

Katherine let out a soft puff of air between her lips and let her mind play back her dream. Hers was similar in nature to her husband's as it was more of a memory than a dream.

She had been back on her feet for a week now. The sling around her shoulder was a constant reminder of just how close she had come this time around. In her previous battles in Ditto Town, she could not remember one that had brought her this close to the edge so many times.

Gus watched from the window as his patient settled beneath a tree and opened the book she had been working on for a couple of days. These two mystified him in many ways. The strange language that Michael had spoke when he came to, the pointed ears, and their seemingly unwillingness to relax. Even now, Katherine sat as if she was on alert.

The doctor knew he could not keep them at the clinic more than another day or two and yet he was afraid of what would happen to them. He watched as Michael came and sat beside Katherine and the two of them just sat there. It was completely contradictory to the way the two of them had acted while the girl was recovering. It was if a wall had been put between the two of them even though, to his eyes, they were in love. A sudden inspiration struck him and he picked up his phone.

Katherine fell asleep in Gwaunig's arms and did not stir until she heard him whisper her name in her ears. She blinked and looked straight up into the face of the local pastor. She and Gwanuig had attended services with Gus the previous Sunday and were pleased to see that it was the same in this world as in Ditto Town.


"Hello Katherine, Michael. How are you today?" Pastor Drews asked.

"Better. This is the first time I've slept all day today. Gus is inside working on paperwork." Katherine made the assumption that he was here to see the doctor.

Pastor Drews shook his head. "I'm actually here to see the two of you. May I sit down?"

Gwanuig nodded and slid his feet over so that they would not be in the way. "What did you want to speak with us about?"

"Gus told me that Katherine would be released in a couple of days and he wasn't sure that the two of you had anywhere to go."

"We do not, but we can..." Gwanuig had to stop when Katherine elbowed him in the ribs.

"What Michael means is that we were thinking about moving on when the doctor released me. We want to try to get back home and let everyone know that we are ok." Katherine flashed what she hoped would be a reassuring smile.

The pastor was not fooled. "How are the two of you going to get anywhere without any money?" He had to stifle a laugh at their dumbfounded looks. "What I would like to propose, is that the two of you move into my house and give me a hand with some repair work around the church. Katherine, I know you can't do any heavy lifting, but if you could help with dusting or some bookkeeping Michael can help me with some things that need to get done. Then the church could pay you to help you get on your way."

Katherine looked over at Gwanuig and it did not take a mind reader to know that they should accept. She was just about to say yes, when Gwanuig spotted something in the pastor's eyes. "Could you give us a moment to talk about it, sir?" He broke in.

"Very well. I'll go speak to Gus." He got to his feet and left the couple by themselves.

"What's up? We need to say yes." Katherine started to argue.

Gwanuig put his finger on her lips to silence her. "Did you hear what he said? The two of us move into his house. As a pastor, the only way he will let the two of us do that is if we are married. It would not be proper otherwise."

Gwanuig watched as Katherine's jaw dropped as she realized what he was asking. He took her hands in his. "Katherine Leanne Grayson, would you marry me?"

Katherine's tale of her dream wound down and she looked up into her husband's grey eyes. There was a twinkle in them as she had known there would be. He smiled as he had rarely done back home. "The sun is setting."

She shook her head in amazement as the remaining light of the sun was indeed fading into the darkness. They had slept much longer than she had thought they had. They rose and made sure everything was back in its place before exiting their room in the castle to greet their friends.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby starkat » Nov 11, 2009 8:36 pm

She was sick to her stomach at the decision she had made. Watching them from the shadows made her feel as if she had a knife in her hand and was driving it into their hearts an inch at a time. It had to be done. To protect the future… or so she thought. She had seen so many versions and from so many particular angles that something had to be done.

A moment longer was all she could spare to watch them before her nerve would fail her. She focused and vanished into the darkness. It was light when she materialized. She watched as a young Ethan walked into a familiar house.

Her hands were shaking so hard that she had to steel herself for what lay ahead. If she did not do this now, the future would be a far darker place then it should be. This had to work. A quick look around showed that the children were playing out front.

She slipped inside and picked up the package that Ethan had unwrapped and laid on the counter. Before she could exit, she could hear a small voice call out, “I’m thirsty! Anyone else want something?” She choked back a sob and managed to vanish one final time.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby stardf29 » Nov 12, 2009 6:59 pm

"I will be conducting muster now," Molly Lawrence said to a group of Star Defenders in their main gathering room in their Ditto Town base. "Let's see... we have Erica Chan, Jennifer Day, Shannon Day, Marlin Larmes, myself, Isaac Nemesis, Mary Park, Nerrha Selmar, Mark Sierra, Michael Sierra, Susan Sierra, Adrian Syrene, Laura Syrene... oh, and of course, our newest Head Division member, Viktor Williams. Once again, welcome to the team, Viktor!"

"Thank you," Viktor said. "I'm glad to be working with you all here." Viktor was about 21 years old and full of energy.

"I definitely think it was a good idea to bring Viktor onto our team," Mike remarked. "After all, he was already mapping out our home universe for us, so I think it is only fair that he comes over here to the new universe, too." Mike looked over to the veteran Star Defenders of the Ditto Town universe. "I take it you two will help him with his re-training?"

"We certainly will," Isaac said.

"Speaking of which, I would like to make the re-training report now," Nerrha said. "Over the last couple of months, we have focused on trying to bring our skill levels, which have been reset somehow due to entering a new universe, back up as high as possible. I am now pleased to remark that the skill level of our division as a whole is on par of that of an Bravo-rank Star Defender, which means among other things, we are fully combat-ready. We will continue training so we may reach Alpha-rank and eventually Sierra-rank skill levels, but for the moment, if it is necessary, we can assist the Town with any trouble they encounter with confidence."

"Great news indeed," Adrian said. "With that in mind, then, I would like to brief everyone on the concluding mission as well as the missions currently pending."

"As you all know, Isaac and Nerrha have previously arrived in this universe before all of us have, through a phenomenon known as portal dust. In the process, they have discovered Isaac's wayward brother, Brandon, causing trouble in the town. Moreover, they have discovered that Brandon has some connection to a larger organization, known only as The Nine. Brandon has since been subdued, after which he has chosen to put himself out of his own misery. What remains of this concluding mission is further research into the phenomenon of portal dust, as well as further investigation into The Nine."

"The currently pending missions are the continuation of the remains of the concluding mission, and a new mission related to two individuals known as Hannah and Amelia. As we are aware, the two were previously held captive by The Nine or some related organization, and are currently being pursued by them. They have powers related to darkness and light, much like our own Jennifer and Shannon, but potentially more powerful or otherwise the scope of which is much greater. This is probably related to the reason why the Nine are after them. The known mission objectives are to protect Hannah and Amelia from their captors, and learn as much as possible about why they were held captive in the first place so we may learn more about our enemy. Further objectives will be determined as the mission progresses, so this mission can be considered a partially blind mission. As such, please be mindful of any action related to the mission that may need to be performed to protect Ditto Town, the Dittotopian sector as a whole, and this universe and our home universe in its entirety."

"This mission has been classified as a Bravo-rank mission, which means that, according to Nerrha's report, we Star Defenders of the Dittotopian Sector are now officially authorized to commence the mission. Does everyone understand what that means?"

Everyone in the room nodded.

"Then... make it happen, cap'n!" Adrian declared, and the Star Defenders filed out of their meeting room to begin planning out how to proceed with the mission.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby Fire Fairy » Nov 23, 2009 5:51 pm

The sound of water tumbling over rocks woke the girl. She was lying on the ground, facing a stream. She blinked, but did not move, staring distantly at the stream in front of her. After several moments, she sat up and stretched, before pausing to take in her surroundings.

Other than the stream, the girl could not see any other water. A forest sat contentedly on the other side of the stream, its stillness balancing the constant movement of the water. Turning away from the stream, the girl could see a road several hundred feet away. The many impressions in the hard-packed dirt told her the road was well-traveled.

Maybe if I follow the road, I can find somebody to talk to, the girl mused. She stood up, her muscles stiff from underuse. The girl started over to the road, then stopped suddenly.

Where am I? she wondered. Her surroundings were unfamiliar, yet she could not remember being anywhere else. Sorching flames of panic licked at her chest. Do I belong here? Breathing hard, she whipped her head left and right, searching frantically for signs of someone coming down the road. In her terror, she bolted toward the road, desperately hoping she would find someone who could tell her where she was.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby stardf29 » Nov 25, 2009 10:33 pm


Isaac called out to the young light-girl, with whom he arranged to meet at the fountain earlier that day. Behind him, Nerrha waited with the Day sisters, Jennifer and Shannon.

From one of the benches, Hannah jumped up and ran towards Isaac. "Big brother!" She ran straight for him for a bit, then leapt towards him with the speed and force of a well-thrown dodgeball.

However, Isaac, with his speed and reflexes, was no slouch at dodgeball, and quickly and securely caught Hannah in his arms before she could tackle him to the ground. "How are you doing?" he asked her as he used the momentum she had to swing her around in a circle. "So, I'm your big brother now? Didn't you want me to be your boyfriend a couple of months ago?"

"Yeah, but I think you're cooler as a big brother," Hannah explained as Isaac set her back on her feet. "And your girlfriend over there can be my big sister," she added, pointing at Nerrha.

"You know, she's not my girlfriend."

"Really? Oh, fine... girl friend. I added a space."

"Anyway, Hannah, today I thought I'd bring another one of my friends to play with you, since she's about your age. Shannon?"

"Here!" Shannon jumped out of the Town Square fountain to meet up with Hannah. (Thanks to her using her light powers to dry herself as she was jumping out, she was not dripping wet.) "My name is Shannon Day. Nice to meet you!"

"Nice to meet you, too!" Hannah said. "Wanna play?"

Shannon nodded. "You have light powers, right? How about we try to shoot each other with light beams?"

"Sounds fun to me!"

In an instant, the Town Square became a miniature war zone as two light-empowered ten-year-old girls filled the area with powerful beams of energy. (Thankfully, as they were really just beams of light, they bounced off or got absorbed into any non-reflective surface they hit, including any bystanders.)

"Well, I think we should leave them alone and watch from afar," Isaac said to Nerrha and Jennifer. The other two nodded and stepped into the Cup & Platter to watch the two light girls.


"So, you like hanging around with Isaac?" Shannon asked while she prepared her next attack.

Hannah nodded. "He's a lot of fun to be with. You hang out with him a lot?"

"Yeah," Shannon said. "In fact, he's the reason that I ended up joining the Star Defenders, instead of dying of hunger on the streets."

"Oh? Sounds like a story to me. Let me hear it."

"Okay. Actually, my older sister, Jennifer, knows more of the details, but she won't tell me what they are. She says they are 'gruesome and potentially controversial and thus not appropriate for a forum which ten-year-olds can access.' I guess if it's not appropriate for a forum which I can access, it's not appropriate for me when I'm not on a forum, either.

"Anyways, what she told me is that our parents basically didn't want us, so we ended up at an orphanage. The orphanage was a pretty horrible place for us, since everyone picked on us; nevertheless, it was a place that provided food and shelter, so that's where we lived.

"However, we were known to be troublemakers, since Jennifer liked to badly hurt people with her powers of darkness whenever they made her mad, and my tendency to use my light powers to have fun tended to cause quite a bit of damage. What ended up happening when we were two years younger was that Jennifer ended up causing enough trouble that the orphanage director decided to throw us out on the street. Jennifer definitely did not take that well. What ensued was what one could call a riot, when the few friends there that Jennifer had rose up to defend her. The police got involved, the entire orphanage got involved, and... well, the whole situation needed outside assistance. One of the locals, who was a Star Defender, immediately submitted a mission request for help.

"Because the level of danger in the mission seemed to be fairly low, there were a couple of beginner Star Defenders in the group that came, looking for some mission experience to get promoted. Two of those beginners were Isaac and Nerrha. They had both barely finished their introductory training and this was their first mission. Back then, they still weren't really friends; they argued a lot with each other and were constantly told by the leader to start getting along.

"The mission was going along fine until they had to try to restrain my sister, who proved to be somehow too powerful for the team. They were about to call for backup when... I believe it was Isaac who heard that I was her sister, and suggested to Nerrha to talk to me and let me try to calm her down. At any rate, they both found me and started talking to me about the whole situation. It must have been the first time they truly worked together to deal with a situation... anyways, I decided I liked these two Star Defenders and agreed to help them out.

"I brought them to my sister and managed to calm her down and convince her to talk to the Star Defenders. They got the story from her, and with her help, they managed to calm the riot down. However, they also decided it was not healthy for the two of us to stay here, where our powers would be a source of contempt. Thus, they arranged to bring us aboard their Star Defender station. From there, we were trained as Star Defenders, became Head Division leaders... and here we are now-oof!"

At the end of her story, during which she and Hannah had been continuing their light fight, Shannon got hit by one of Hannah's light beams.

"That's five for me, which means I win," Hannah said. "Cool story. So are you close to Isaac and Nerrha then?"

"Yeah," Shannon said. "They really are like a big brother and sister to both my sister and me. Also, since then, they started trying to work together more. And once they learned to do that, there really was not much they couldn't do. They quickly became a powerful duo and were nearly unbeatable in combat.

"Now that I mention that," Shannon continued, "my sister and I are like that, too. The reason we reached Head Division so quickly, even though I'm only ten years old, was because not only were we really powerful on our own, but also because together, our powers became much more powerful. I assure you, if my sister were here, you would not stand a chance."

"Yeah? I bet I would totally beat you if my sister were here," Hannah retaliated.

"Except she can't be here with you."

"I know that. Just wait, though. Someday, this whole doll thing will end, and my sister and I will become the strongest light-dark team ever! And when that happens, we'll challenge you two to a match."

"I'll accept that challenge!" Shannon said. "In fact, we'll do whatever we can to help you get your sister restored from doll form."

"Thanks," Hannah said, shaking Shannon's hand. "Let's go inside the Cup & Platter; it's almost night and I need to get ready to switch."

As the two walked towards the pub, Hannah leaned over and whispered into Shannon's ear, "By the way, I overheard that the whole doll thing wasn't something we were born with, and that my sister and I were actually separated like that by someone else because we were too powerful together. Just in case you think that helps."
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby starkat » Nov 28, 2009 9:56 pm

A starkat/FireFairy production

Lianna had been busy in her shop for the last several hours when the entry bell sounded. “Just a second!”

The sound of a customer browsing her wares filtered in through her focus as she frantically scribbled down notes on her latest project. It was a surprise for her customers who loved the scent of cranberry around the coming holidays. After capping her more volatile chemicals, she stretched and headed for the front of her store.

A young woman stood in her store nervously poking through the bottles on the shelf. “Hello. You’re not from around here are you?”

“W-What makes you think that?” Her hair showed signs of having been wet and was now dry.

Lianna smiled and turned to pour herself and her guest a cup of tea. She handed the young woman a cup. “You aren’t comfortable. Your eyes keep darting around like you have never seen it before.”

The young woman looked down into her tea for a moment. Could she really trust the other woman in front of her? She looked up into Lianna’s eyes and something in those green orbs seemed to give her an answer. “Can you tell me where I am? I got kind of turned around?”

“You’re in Ditto Town.” Lianna warmed to her subject quickly and gave the other woman a verbal tour of the town. “In the square there is a fountain which is the home of Bob Saget, the resident platypus. The Cup & Platter serves the best food in town. The proprietor has been gone for awhile, but Hugh the Hologram runs it quite well in his stead.” The girl’s wrinkled brow caused Lianna to laugh lightly, “Yes, he is an actual hologram. There is the post office and the general store. Further out we have the Tireless Engineer’s compound and there is an observatory run by the gargoyles.”

“Wait a minute. Gargoyles, holograms? Those don’t exist do they?”

“They do here. Ditto Town is a crossroads for many species and beings from many lands and mythologies. Through science, my cousins and my sister all have special abilities…” Here Lianna faltered a bit as something faded inside of her mind. She pushed a bit at her bond with her sister and then the one with her cousin and did not get anything. The other woman was staring up at her. “Sorry for zoning out. Now where was I?”

“Special abilities and different species.”

“Right. Even though all of us are so different, we treat each other like teammates, equals, and family.”

“It sounds great.”

“So do you want an actual tour? What’s your name?”

Confusion and sadness swept over the girl’s face. “I – I don’t know. I can’t remember.”

Lianna stifled her reaction to sweep the girl into a huge hug and gave her a thorough look. Her mind ran through several possible names and settled on one. “How about June until you remember?”

A tear ran down the girl’s face as she realized what the other woman was doing by skipping over asking any questions. She nodded. “June sounds good. It’s a good month.”

“Yup. One of my favorites. Let’s get you introduced to the town and set you up with a room at the mansion. Don’t worry about money here. The mansion doesn’t charge anything and there are always enough rooms. It is larger than it looks.” She led June into the Town Square to start their tour.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby Aravanna » Nov 29, 2009 9:45 pm

The Mansion wasn’t a bad place to live at all. Especially when you had a roommate to talk to, and a job to get you up and out of the place on occasion. It was an old, beautiful place that had been built very early in the town’s existence from the town people’s own income. It was also very magical. You could wander from the grand entrance hall, down the long halls all day only to find a new lounge or tower just when you thought you’d been in every inch of the place. And whenever she got tired of exploring, she found that the next turn or staircase led back to the main hall with its grand fireplace that had kept the cold of winter at bay even in so large and airy a room. Erica had given up trying to figure out why it seemed so much bigger on the inside than it did on the outside. Some things just couldn’t be explained, and wasn’t that the very definition of magic?

Erica Wilkins had never been happier in her life. Over the winter she had matured, just baby steps every day, but now as spring took hold and her 16th birthday approached, she was more of a young adult than a girl now. After all, she had to be independent and take care of herself. Her body (which had been doing all sorts of strange things without her permission) was starting to feel comfortable again, and she’d grown another inch to 5’4’’. The inch was a victory of sorts, even though Erica really hadn’t done anything to help achieve it.

With the constant help of Roj, and Axe, and Val, her hyperactive fairy dragon friend, Erica was less shy, although she could still quiet and preferred to listen to what other people said than add to the conversation herself. Thanks also to Val, Erica was very calm in the middle of mild chaos. Before she had arrived at Ditto Town, she would never have thought of herself as level-headed, but over the past four months, she had learned to take circumstances as they came without panicking, even in the middle of a certain situation that had included the Ditto Archer.

Her new disposition had helped Val remain calm. When she wasn’t around new people, the fairy dragon was almost manageable. Erica suspected she might have been behind some of the recent “Original” activity in town though. Erica mostly laughed at the whole thing. It was pretty harmless overall. The little dragon could still give most peacocks a run for their money as far as self importance went, but she never meant any harm. In fact, Val had an uncanny ability to do the exact thing that Erica needed to grow out of her little, comfortable shell, and teleporting had to be the most useful ability a magical friend could possess, especially on rainy days.

Erica was currently lying on her bed (her roommate Kyre was out) thinking about Axe. She supposed it was because she was always around him. She worked at the mill his parents owned, and he helped her of course, but lately she caught herself thinking about him at odd moments of the day, like when she was shopping or falling asleep. What did he think of her? What was he doing right now? What would it feel like to kiss him? The last question sent a weird little shiver of excitement through Erica. She would never do it of course, but he would probably react and maybe fall in the stream again (that had been hilarious) then then he would probably be angry... or terrified. Erica would be freaked out if some guy randomly kissed her. But maybe not... if Axe randomly kissed her...

It was too quiet. Where had Val gotten to? It occurred to Erica that the room had been quiet for at least an hour. Actually, Erica didn’t know how long it had been. It was getting dark outside and her roommate would be back soon. Usually Val would have teleported into the fridge and helped herself to its contents by now.

“Val?” Erica called? No answer. Well, no need to worry. The 8” blue fairy dragon was remarkably apt at taking care of herself, even when she had just moulted her wings (which would grow back in a few weeks.) Erica kept herself occupied by vacuuming, had just finished, and was beginning to wonder if Val would be out all night when there was a faint popping noise that always accompanied one of the little rascal’s teleportations. A second later the muffled sound of a very surprised male voice followed. Erica would have recognized that voice anywhere.

“Alex? No way...”

Erica scrambled to turn the vacuum off, tripped over the cord, and then threw her door open. A very surprised, slightly pudgy man in his early twenties stood outside the door covered in three equally surprised fairy dragons, and one very smug one. The two humans stood staring at each other to make sure what they saw was real, then they executed a perfect tacklehug that ended on the floor.


“BIG BROTHER! Oh my gosh, how did you...”

“Holy Toledo, you’ve grown! I can’t believe you’re safe and...”

“It must have been Val, she...”

“I’ve missed you so much! Wait, where am I?”

“Ditto Town! Ditto Town, Ditto Town, Ditto Town! You got here, you got here! Here, here, let me show you! ” rambled Erica, almost jumping up and down. It had been a long time since she had seen her older brother, so her excitement was understandable. “BTW, you’re way fatter now, hee hee.”

“Hey now! It’s cushioning,” replied Alex, who found his hand seized and his body drug down the hall and out the front door.

A deep blue twilight had fallen across the town as Erica gave her older brother a quick tour. For the most part, the buildings and residents of Ditto Town looked like they could have easily been from somewhere on Earth, but little things just didn’t fit at all. Alex thought he saw a space ship, and did that squirrel just say hello to Erica? He couldn’t be sure in the dark. Ember and Kouadio stared out from his coat hood in amazement, and Kouadio clicked and chirped constantly to try and keep poor blind Mystic up to date. There was just too much to see in one evening through, even for those of the party that had working eyes. The whole experience seemed surreal, but Alex didn’t think he was dreaming, and his sister was safe. That was all he cared about, he realized as the tour ended at the brightly lit Cup and Platter for refreshments. He would digest all this tomorrow, not to mention the professors death, and Sarah’s actions. Tonight he was with his sister, and it was like finding home.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby Fire Fairy » Nov 30, 2009 9:17 am

June followed the kindly girl, feeling a large weight being lifted off her chest. She felt eternally grateful that the first person she had met was being so kind. She had even thought of giving her a name...

June frowned. How could she have forgotten that people had names? It hadn't occured to her that she needed one until the store owner had brought it up. June started as she realized that if she needed a name, the store owner probably had one as well. She blushed to think she could have been rude enough not to ask.

"Um, excuse me," she said quietly to the girl in front of her.

She stopped and turned to face June, her friendly smile matching the sparkle in her green eyes. "What is it?"

June ducked her head, embarrassed to be asking. "Sp-speaking of names, you never told me yours."

"Oh! I'm sorry. I got so carried away I forgot you didn't know me. I'm Lianna."

"Lianna." June tested the name, examining the feeling it left on her tongue. "I like it. It's pretty."

"Thank you." Lianna sidled up to June and slipped her hand into hers. "Now, let's go see Ditto Town, shall we?"

June nodded, a tiny smile tugging at her lips for the first time in her memory.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby stardf29 » Dec 12, 2009 12:52 am

Amelia stared hard at the girl that was sitting in front of her.

Jennifer stared just as hard back.

"...Okay, just so you know, I'm not like my sister; I don't play games," Amelia said with a matter-of-fact tone. "Tell me who are you, what you are doing here, what you want with me, and why does it feel like I'm talking to a mirror."

"Fair enough," Jennifer replied with a tone that contained an equal amount of fact-matter. "My name is Jennifer Day, and I am a Star Defender just like Isaac and Nerrha back there. As for the reason I am here talking to you, and why it's like talking to a mirror... I won't try to sugarcoat anything. I'm here to investigate you... because there is a ridiculous degree of similarity between my sister Shannon and I, and you and your sister Hannah. Both you and I have powers of darkness, and both my sister and your sister have powers of light. Our ages match up closely, and our appearances are remarkably similar, too."

"Except you and your sister can co-exist without any doll forms," Amelia replied with a slight hint of bitterness.

"Precisely," Jennifer said. "And while I do not make promises, I do entertain the consideration that any information we can gather regarding our similarities could be used to return the two of you to the form of two separate human beings... or at least protect you from this group called the Nine that are after you."

"Huh... so that's your excuse," Amelia retorted. "Well, I'll play along with your game, since I am kind of interested in why you remind me of myself. So, what do you want? You want us to battle like our sisters did at daytime?"

"Works for me."

As the two girls of darkness walked out, Isaac and Nerrha once again observed from inside the Cup and Platter, while Shannon took a nap in a booth.

"So tell me... why does everything involving Jennifer and Shannon end up in a battle one way or another?" Isaac asked.


"My sister told me about your story," Amelia said as she fired beams of darkness at Jennifer. "I personally don't care for that kind of sentimentality, but I suppose it must be nice for you."

"Meh, I don't care much for it, either," Jennifer replied, countering with her own beams of darkness. "Shannon tells that story way more than I do."

"So you don't have any kind of affection for your rescue?"

"Affection? Hah... a whole lot of good affection did. Made me have feelings for someone who was clearly in love with someone else."

"Oh... you mean Isaac, right?"

Jennifer nodded. "It really did not help that I also cared a lot for my other rescuer, who was the one he was in love with and who obviously loved him back. So as much as I loved him, I could not bear to get in their way. I loved both of them too much to do that."

"Huh. The more I hear these stories, the more I'm convinced that this whole love business is not worth going into."

"It's not. Trust me, I've seen all sorts of cases within the Star Defenders where everything ended really badly. And that's not even getting started on some of the cases outside of the Star Defenders I hear about... Although..." Jennifer paused for a moment. "I cannot deny that I have also seen many cases in which two people in love manage to make a very successful relationship out of it."

Amelia thought for a moment. "Well, if you say so, I'll believe it. So you think Isaac and Nerrha could be like that?"

"Definitely," Jennifer said. "And I don't say that lightly. Those two have been able to work with each other so much and through so many varied situations that I'm sure they'd be able to make it work properly."

Amelia nodded. "So it's obvious then that they love each other? Or is it obvious to everyone but them?"

"Well, before, it certainly was a case where the couple in question were the only ones who could not see how the other felt about each other. However... it's been different ever since we first saw them back from their first trip to Ditto Town here. Ever since then, I could tell that they both know that not only do they like the other person, but that the other person feels the same way."

"Really? So why don't they just confess their feelings to each other and become a couple?"

"Alas, it's not that easy when you're in the Star Defenders," Jennifer explained. "Becoming a Star Defender really changes how you live your life, and nowhere is this more pronounced than with how you handle relationships.

"Our powers are designed so that they become more powerful when they are used in conjuction with a fellow Star Defender that we have a close relationship with. Whether that relationship be friends, family, or lovers, the success of the Star Defenders has always relied not on our intrinsic powers, but on the way we are able to work together with the people we are close to in order to bring out the maximum potential of those powers.

"Unfortunately, this design comes with its fair share of problems. Obviously, lovers can be very formidable in combat since they have a particularly close relationship. However, in addition to potentially isolating themselves from fellow teammates, they also run the risk of completely destroying that sense of teamwork if they break up badly. Many times, a couple that breaks up ends up having so much bitterness to each other that they cannot work with each other afterwards, which really harms our ability to complete missions.

"The natural solution to this problem was to encourage relationships that are resilient to these kinds of damaging breakups. This usually means spending time to build a close friendship before going into a relationship. However, that plan has its own problem. The fighting style of close friends, family members, and lovers tend to be significantly distinct from each other. To switch from a close friendship, especially if it's a friendship where the two involved had previously seen each other like brother and sister, to lovers oftentimes requires a complete shift in battling style. If the couple had previously already been established as a highly successful, top-tier battle duo as friends, making that switch becomes a major risk.

" least, that's the excuse we usually give while the couple in question is really just scared of ruining their friendship and trying to work all that out," Jennifer finished.

"Ah, so that's what's happening with Isaac and Nerrha, then?" Amelia asked.

"Hmm... maybe. I don't know, actually. Isaac claims he has 'reasons' for not pursuing a relationship right away. Maybe he's trying to slowly ease into a full relationship instead of jumping right into it. Or maybe he has other reasons. It's hard to say.

"Honestly, it does not really matter that much. The fact of the matter is, those two are obviously meant to be together. If it's not obvious by how well those two get along, especially how they can resolve their conflicts, it's obvious from how powerful they are when they fight as a team. Really, it doesn't matter if they get married right now or if they just remain close friends for the rest of their lives. Their relationship has changed universes--both this one and our home one--and it will continue to do so. That much, I know for sure."

"So... what does all of this have to do with me, then? Why are you giving me all of this exposition?" Amelia asked.

"Because... you too have gotten quite close to Isaac and Nerrha, haven't you?"

Amelia's face underwent a physiological process that was completely new to her, in which the apparent temperature of her face in the cheek regions seemed to rise. Confused, she let down her guard, allowing Jennifer to successfully blast her with a beam of darkness and knock her onto the ground.

"That's five. I win." Jennifer went over to pull Amelia back up. "What I mean is, had you kept your heart distant from them, you would only have to concern yourself about your own self and that of your sister. You would have saved both you and me a lot of trouble. But since you have now developed the feelings that you have, you are now irrevocably connected to them, for better or for worse. And with the powers that you have, that will likely mean trouble for all of us."

"What are you talking about? It's not like I'm in love with them or anything. I mean, I'm grateful to them for watching over my sister and all, but that's it..."

"You know, it's a bad idea to try to lie like that to someone who thinks pretty much the same way that you do. You had lived a life up until this point where you were constantly mistreated... so when those two showed up and showed kindness, you started to get attached to them. Remember, the same thing happened to me-"

"So what if I got attached to them?!" Amelia exclaimed, unsure if the burning sensation in her face was from anger or something else entirely. "You know I there is no way I would not be able to be attached to them! You know that even if I am a person of darkness, who likes solitude and draws strength from negative feelings, I am still a human being, and that there is no human being who cannot survive without other kind human beings! And I know that it's that attachment that is slowly draining my powers, and that no matter how much I like him, there is no way I can possibly take Isaac away from Nerrha! So what's the point, then?"

Jennifer stared into Amelia's raging eyes. "I'm just letting you know. The more you know about those two, the better off all six of us will be, whatever the enemy may decide to throw at us."

Amelia stared back at Jennifer. "Fine. Tell me more about those two, then. And also... tell me more about you and your sister."

"Very well. We can discuss this back at our base." Jennifer started walking off, motioning for Amelia to follow. "Oh, and one other thing," she added. "I know it seems like your feelings for Isaac and Nerrha are troublesome, but really, it's not all that bad. In fact, I think you'll find that ultimately, it'll be a very good thing for you."

Amelia said nothing and silently followed Jennifer back to the Star Defender base.

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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby Sonny » Dec 15, 2009 8:14 pm

"That was so sweet," said Eliana to Loren as they walked home after the hatching. "I am so grateful that Abby was willing to share such a precious moment with practically the whole town!"

"I know," agreed Loren. "I mean, it's their first and all. You'd think they would want to enjoy it themselves, private, you know?"

"Yes. And that just goes to show again how generous and giving and unselfish the Silvernooms are. I am so glad they are our friends. You know, I am so excited about little Molly playing with out little one."

Loren grinned. "It gives me the goose-bumps," he admitted. "How old are the Silvermoons? Do you know?"

Eliana creased her brow. "You know, I haven't got the faintest idea. I sure can't tell! I don't know how gargoyles mature. And then with inter-detention travel - what would that do to one's age?"

"Hmm." was Loren's only comment. They continued home silent for a while, arms around each other. Finally Loren broke the peaceful silence. "Don't you wish you could just zoom up into the heavens and be among the stars? But the funny thing is, we are among the stars! And about as close to one as I'd ever want to be! They look so small from here, but there's nothing up there but vast amounts of 'empty' space and huge balls of burning gas."

Eliana chuckled at her husband. "You think funny," she said.

"Funny? How is that funny?"

"Oh, I don't know. Wanting to be among the stars. How silly! It would be so cold and empty and entirely boringly alone up there!"

"Not if I had you. Warm and cuddly and tons of fun."

Eliana giggled and tried to give him a friendly shove, but his arm tightened around her in anticipation. So she gently elbowed him in the stomach instead.

"Oof!"he grunted. "OK, OK, I'll stay here in Ditto Town with you. You know," he continued, as if it were part of the same conversation, "we need some new guys at the power plant. We lost three just last week. For some reason they all moved away at the same time. We'll have to put up fliers or an ad in the newspaper - I bet Emily would help - advertising open positions."

"Huh." Eliana didn't sound as if she had been listening. "You know, I think I'm going to write a little piece about tonight. You want to play cello?"

Loren smiled. "Sure!" Eliana was a good composer, having studied piano, violin, clarinet, and composition since she was a very young girl. Loren played cello and french horn, and especially loved playing duets with Eliana. "I assume you will take piano?" he asked.

Eliana cocked her head. "I'm thinking about a cello-clarinet duet. Rich warm tones."

"Sounds good," agreed Loren as they entered their house.

As they prepared to turn in for the night, Loren suddenly commented, "You know, I haven't seen Olivia in a while. Have you?"

Eliana gave a start. "Oh, my. I am surprised that I never noticed! I even went to the apothecary last Tuesday, and Liana and I chatted for a little, but nothing was said about Olivia."

"Well, I am tired. Let's pray together before we turn in." So, as was their custom, they knelt by their bed and, holding each other's hands, prayed.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby starkat » Jan 13, 2010 8:09 pm

Wind whipped around her violently causing her to stumble. Olivia could not keep the tears from streaming down her face as rain fell from the sky. She had to get back to town. A tree stump seemed to rise from nowhere as she took a nose dive over it.

The breath knocked out of her, Olivia realized she was on the verge of hyperventilating. Everything was going wrong. Not just her trip back to Ditto Town, but everything. It all started back when she had tried to step back through time to where she had left her daughter and could not. Her abilities seemed to be blocked.

Oh if only that was where it had ended. Blocked powers she could deal with, but this… this was a disaster. Her arms ached to hold her small daughter. A thunder clap that shook the ground forced her to her feet. She had no idea how long she had sat there.

There it was. The biggest problem of all, at least for her. A time traveler without a sense of time. Ever since she had realized that she could no longer time travel, her sense of time had faded to the point it took little time at all for thirty minutes to pass her by before she knew what was happening. Her abilities had given her the ability to time things down to the nanosecond, but no longer. That was what told her that this was more than a simple blocking of her special abilities.

Olivia hoped that she had remembered the dates well enough that her sister and cousin would be in town and not away. The message she carried was vital. She had to reach the town in time. The Nine were coming back. Without the protection offered by the Ditto Rider and her family members, there was no telling what would happen next.


Katherine was enjoying her conversation with Abby when her head started pounding. She massaged her temples and let out a small hiss.


“I’m alright I think. I haven’t had a headache like this in awhile though.”

Abby grew concerned as she watched the color drain from her human friend’s face. “Let me go get you some aspirin.”

“Thanks.” Her voice was faint as the pain escalated.

Katherine’s mind traveled back to the last time she had headaches like this and flinched. This was not good. She had suspected that someone, somewhere was responsible for causing this, but it was a moot point at the moment. Then, almost as suddenly as it started, the pain ended.

Abby had to make way for Gwanuig as the worried husband swept into the room. He wrapped his arms around his wife. Katherine accepted the comfort from him and the aspirin from Abby. She did not have answers for either of them.
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Re: The Inn Between: Ditto Story 8

Postby leuthilalda » Jan 19, 2010 9:00 pm

To the most casual of observers, it would have been intuitively obvious that there was a solemn and important meeting going on in front of the Dittotown Rescue center. Arrayed on the ground on one side of the door were 5 hobbits of various ages, 3 ponies, one opossum, and one person who appeared to most to be a human boy. On the other side, perching on the various trees and bushes around were four mourning doves, three mockingbirds, and two cardinals.
And the meeting was important, but not nearly as solemn as the expression on the birds' faces would suggest. Skra spoke first, in a voice much more hesitant than the one he normally used.
"My friends (for such I hope we may call you), we are part of a larger group of various types of birds that came out of Narnia several months ago. We came, with the blessing of Aslan, to live here in Dittopia and we colonized a part of the woods a good ways from here.
"Our life and settling has not been without trouble, however. We have encountered in the woods a species of creature which has tried to prey on us for food. We have had a good bit of trouble with these creatures, especially one named Gollum. They apparently live on blood and we have had some close calls. Finally, our three families decided to set out and attempt to find a new home where it is somewhat more peaceful and where we will not have to be continually on the watch for these preditors. We hoped to settle somewhere near here.
"As we were leaving, an old owl named Nightgleam mentioned a hobbit he had known in Narnia, named Toby Banks. We had hoped to find this hobbit and to get advice from him as to where we would be most welcome."
Toby rose and bowed low to the birds. "I am that Toby Banks, and I am at your service. I certainly fondly remember Nightgleam and am delighted to hear that he has moved to this world. As for your welcome, you certainly have it here in the vicinity of the rescue center, if you so choose. And I am sure that others in Dittotown would also welcome you."
Skra looked relieved. "Are you troubled by the creatures I have mentioned?" he asked.
"Toby shook his head. I do know what they are, though, and need to be frank with you. They are called vampires, or vamps, and they do live off blood. But there have been two different groups, brought up in two different ways by two different beings. The ones you encountered in the wild were brought up by the Dark Fancier and have learned to kill humans, talking beasts, and others for food. The ones around here were brought up to survive only on blood from non-talking beings. The few that are left won't harm you, and may even protect you from danger some day."
Will shook his head. "I had a run in with the evil bunch when I first came to this world" he said. "I think it was actually with the one called Gollum; I only escaped because they were distracted for a moment. I don't envy your group."
Toby continued. "In any event, you are welcome here. What could you offer you in the way of shelter?"
Skra bowed and thanked them on behalf of the three families. "No special shelter is needed, thank you. Most of us will stay in the large oak here. I think that Cor and his family have chosen the bush by your front door if that is satisfactory. If the weather gets really nasty, there are nice warm dry perches in the ponies' stalls. We will do just fine. And again, thank you for your hospitality."
As the meeting broke up, Bob noticed Will with a thoughtful expression on his face. "A penny for your thoughts."
Will replied slowly. "Something, some thought, is at the corner of my mind. It is as if what the mockingbird just said joggled a distant memory, and that we are in for an unusual happening soon."
Bob whinnied. "Well I hope to be around to see it when it happens."
And he certainly was.
Hail, Cameron Rhodes. May you always have the best mushrooms in the Shire, and keep a sharp watch out in service to King Peter.
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