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#1 Apr 18 2006 at 12:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=28;mid=1083541086871701987;page=1

Karth wrote:
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Hmm...Kaolin can you tell me why the OOTers and the Asylum people hate each other?
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/cue ominous music blatently stolen from prophecy scene of LOTR...

In the beginning, there was the Forum. In the days of eld, it was the UBB forum, and the Everquest forum was the only game in town. Allakhazam looked upon the situation, and in a weighty tone of voice, spoke "No, no, No! This won't do at at all! Hmph!" and with a mouse gesture and a click or two, sprung forth the origional Out Of Topic forum from a nearby mouldering sweatsock. (also the Questions and book forums, which, aside from playing a minor role in the 2001 Zimbabwe coup attempt have no bearing on this story and shall therefore be ignored) And there was much rejoiceing and eating of penguins, who conveniantly happened to be in season.

Time passed. The days became yesterdays, the monthr became yestermonths, and even the years passed by, and the people of OOT were happy and prospered. Ages came and went, and slowly a hint of shadow crept into the forum. The world became slightly darker, and slowly, ever so slowly lessw people came to OOT. At first it was people who would not be missed. Low counters, Trolls, the occasional aardvaark, the denizins of OOT simply assumed they had gone the way of countless thousands before them, fading quietly into the night as their interest in everquest wained.

But then regulars started to dissappear too.

The remaining denizens banded together, determined to expunge whatever menace was threatening their very existance. Thus was the guild SOC born. But infighting and rivalries and other quite silly things like small intestines intervened, and slowly things fell apart. The forum was dying...

All seemed lost, when suddenly, Allakhazam returned from a seminar on "how to use mental energy to physically will a sports team to make it to the finals" (it was a very long seminar indeed) and saw the state of the forum. With a mighty "What the ****? I leave for one moment and the whole OOT forum falls appart?", he cast the remaining denizins into the Asylum, and brought in a new batch of OOT posters from the newly established republic of slovokoviaFFXIsky. The now known as Asylum posters were troubled, Sure, they had a spiffy new forum name, and the number of posters did seem to be up, but dang it, they had the name OOT first! so they set about lureing the poor hapless OOTers (what??? you are... Don't look at me like that.) further and further into the Asylum. And that is how things stand today.

Only through the magic of the One Bagel can imminent doom be averted. Bring me the magic bagel, or I shall quote the word DOOM in really big red letters. one with Rasins. And cream cheese.

Edited, Tue Apr 18 01:11:34 2006 by Kaolian

Edited, Apr 14th 2007 8:56pm by Kaolian
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#2 Apr 18 2006 at 12:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Source: http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=10;mid=108929874850671108#1089413528227495071

Posted: Fri, Jul 9th 3:52 PM 2004 PST| By: Dread Lord Kaolian
Professor of Meat Sciences


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It's a natural forum progression. A typical poster in a given allakhazam game forum has several stages of existance:

Stage 1. Newbie
At this point, most of the posts are "how do I?" or "I'm thinking of getting the game/have the game, what should I?". the older estableshed posters sometimes get annoyed at this, and tend to lash out. Usually this stage is over by 100 posts or so.

Stage 2. Newbie with brains.
At this point, the questions start getting a bit more meaningful. the poster starts understanding game mechanics enough toask questions, and see flaws with the game. Some poeople never progress beyond this stage. those posters generally disappear after about a year if they do not progress. Generally 100-500 posts

Stage 3. Occasional regular.
You are here, people know you, can pick you out from the background posts, and listen to what you have to say. At this point, the poster usually branches out into one of several seperate paths:

A. The diehard gamer -- You don't post as much, but you are still here, and when you do post, people take notice because you know the latest in game info. Forums are reserved for downtime between games and when you are looking something up on the site.

B. The disenchanted gamer -- Slowly, the game is loseing it's shine for you. you like to play games, but you don't ;like what the game has become. Slowly you start to post more and more, and play less. Your posts about the game are often somewhat bitter. because of your post count at this point, your oppinions influence the tone of the game forums more than some of the other subtypes. These usually die off at around 1200 posts, or they branch off into the asylum/oot areas. Sometimes they take a year off and then come back, temporarily refreshed. Sometimes they even turn into diehard gamers. If they sucessfully pas 1500 posts, they tend to stay around for a long time

C. the OOT/Asylum poster. Spend most of your time in the off topic forums. You still feel a kinship for your origional game forum, but you don't post there nearly as much. Oddly enough, your time in those forums makes you more able to interact with people in the game forums on a more personal level, so even if you don't play the game anymore, you can often more effectivly direct newbies to get help.

d. The missing. You leave. sometimes you post, usually you don't. 2 months from entering this stage, you are usually lost, never to be seen on the forum again.

Stage 4. Forum mainstay. 2000-5000 posts.

By this point, you aren't going anywhere for a while. you post evrywhere, interact with everyone.

Over time, everyone you started posting with will leave. You will constently be surrounded by new posters. It will be harder and harder to find a truly unique topic. By this time, forum differences and grudges have usually blunted their edges, so while there are some posters you may not like or disagree with, you rarely make an effort to get rid of them or discredit them. Why? because you know that if they leave, the forum will irrevocably change yet again, perhaps this time for the better, but usually for the worst. Change becomes both a blessing, and the enemy. At some point, you will make a choice, continue like that, or get bored and leave.


+5000 posts. Of the millions of people who fisit this board, you are one of less than 20 individuals on this board who have survived this long. It's a mind trip.


Enjoy this version of this forum while you can. Blink, and the forum will never be the same. Pretty soon you will wonder outloud "what ever happened to Dark illyana or Notcoach or any of them." and then it hits you.

sorry, i'm rambling.


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#3 Apr 18 2006 at 12:13 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kaolian wrote:
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To answer that question requires a brief history lesson. I'll try not to make it too painful...

In the beginning, Verant created the Everquest, and it was good. The citizens of Norrath (the main planet of everquest) were happy and gleeful with much glee, and they set about slaughtering the rats and bats and moss snakes and a_fire_beatle_01's and decaying skelitons and orcs and gnolls of the world. These were happy times in the land, and there was much feasting upon bat wing crunchies and milk (though nary a cow was to be found) and people were happy, except for when they were smote upon thusly by various large objects, including hill giants...

soon however, a note of discontent entered the world, as hardy and strong adventurers banded together into guilds and set out in search of the fabled "Phat Lewts", or items of such spiffyness they would make small children weap with envy.

A great battle was fought, one for the ages, of which scholors would speek of in hushed tones for eaeons to come. It was really cool, but that's not the point so we'll ignore it and skip to the end.

"... And Lo' wheneth the dut cleared, there was upon the slain corpse of an_uber_dragon_01 a super spiffy item, that could be worn by pretty much all races and classes in Everquest at the time."

The adventurers looked at the item, and drooled. they then looked at each other, and realized that though they wee many, there was only one item. Who would get the item of spiffyness?

A great debate followed. Things werethings said on all sides, things that would haunt the classes of norrath for decades to come, and create class divisions amongst some that have not healed to this day.

On of the most vocal of these were the monks.

Their combat and pulling abilities at the time were far better than most of the other melee classes, so they soon developed the logic that since they were clearly the best, anything that could help them in combat was a "m0nk Item". A monks combat proficciency depends on the amount of weight he is carrying, the less the better, so weight reducing items, items with high ac, etc, became highly sought after m.o. Several wars resulted, and after the slaughter was over, it was decreed far and wide that speaing of the dreaded m0nk items would be forbiddon!

That, or illia at some point just got tired of peopal whineing about it and added it to the filter...
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#4 Apr 18 2006 at 12:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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"Your first post at allakhazam":

http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4&mid=107326763598781310#107326763598781310

Edited, Tue Apr 18 20:55:42 2006 by Kaolian
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#5 Apr 18 2006 at 12:30 AM Rating: Excellent
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Older forum post, punctuation is all pretty screwed up.

http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4;mid=1073047376671017959;page=1#1073047376671017959

The Mortis road: A story of death and intrigue in the Vancouver heights
The sky was overcast. It was always overcast in this damnable city. Darkplague checked his formal gold watch in the fading evening light as he paced back and forth in the crisp Vancouver night air. 6:15pm on the button. Where was she? If it wasn?t for this, he would be back, warm and entertained at the 5th annual Vancouver orphans benefit ball, hosted every year by the powerful DeVille Bloom. Much more entertained. He pulled the small lilac colored hotel stationary paper scrap out of his back tuxedo pocket, where he had discovered it earlier during the dance. The note was short and simple:

Meet me by the old steam train in Esther-Short Park as soon as you get this

It was signed simply ?M?, but the hint of custom, and very expensive perfume left little doubt who it could be from. He should know. He had purchased the last bottle of the stuff at that nights charity auction less than 3 hours before.

Darkplague thought to himself. ?When I get my hands on that little minx, she?s going to pay for pulling me away from the ball!!!? He smiled at thoughts of how, back at their shared hotel room, such payment could be extracted. Maybe over a good bottle of mulled wine?

Such thoughts continued for a few moments more as Darkplague pulled out his cell phone to dial room service back at the hotel. It would be a nice surprise for her?

He heard a slight crunch coming from the trees to the left. He turned, startled, to see an apparently homeless man leading a goat around the park on a string. Darkplage shuddered. He glanced at the darkening sky. It was time to be gone from this place.

Suddenly, something caused the homeless man to look up, apparently in terror.

To look up at something behind Darkplague!

Darkplague turned, just in time to see a figure press something hard, black and lethal to his sternum. His mouth formed an ?o? of surprise, or perhaps recognition, as the first bullet tore through his left ventricle. 2 more followed before he fell to the evergreen needle studded ground. His assailant did not see cell phone in his hand spin off into a nearby clump of bushes, a 3 digit number punched in at the last moment by dying fingers.

The figure turned to the fleeing man with the goat. <pzip> <pzip>. The goat man fell, unmoving to the cold ground.

Satisfied, the mysterious figure turned and vanished into the night.

* * *

The Headline ran in the local paper the ?Columbian? the next day:
Foreign media tycoon heir found murdered in historic park
By: Nadenu

Australian Publishing company heir Darkplague was found shot in Esther-Short Park earlier this morning. Passing joggers discovered the multi-millionaire media tycoon scion early this morning. He was pronounced dead on the scene. A second, unidentified male was also discovered at the scene with bullet wounds to the temple and abdomen. He is currently in a coma at Portland?s memorial hospital just across the river. Doctors have not announced any details the patients current prognosis to the public at this time. An empty goat leash was discovered at the scene of the crime?


* * *
2 weeks later?

Kaolian sat in his small office, crowded with computer equipment and gadgets of all types. The etched sign on the door read ?Kaolian Drachensborn, P.I.?

Kao looked at it with a wry grin. If business didn?t start picking up soon, that sign might be the only thing left of his business. For some reason the holidays were always bad for business. People don?t like to air their dirty laundry aired during vacation for some reason.

?Bah. It?s been months since I?ve had a real case.? He said with a sigh. ?If I don?t get some action here soon, I?ll be reduced to installing nany cams for a living!?

At that moment, there was a knock at the door. I started to get up from my large mesh desk chair, but at that moment, the door opened. The hand on the door was long and lithe, with a French manicure, and was attached to a raven-haired bombshell in a black mourning dress. She was the kind of women men would kill for. Heck, considering she was in my office, they may very well have. She looked with some evident slight distaste at the faded chair opposite my own, then with a look of resignation that she tried to mask, she sat down.

I gave myself a moment to get an impression of who I was about to deal with, before introducing myself. Judging from her elegant dress and mannerisms so far, she was one of the rich power crowd. From time to time one of my cases would cross their path, but for the most part they and I ran in much different social circles. I was intrigued.

?So miss?? What can I do for you this morning?? I asked, leaving the question of her name open for her to supply.

?Taredoru? she replied with a soft foreign accent. English, maybe? ?Mr. Drachensborn, there?s been a murder. I require your services to help find the killer and bring them to justice?

I chuckled. ? I hate to break it to you miss, but that sounds like a job for the police.?

She scoffed angrily. ?Ach, your police think it was just a simple robbery and aren?t even investigating! They are of no use to me. Please allow me to explain.? She paused to raise the mourning veil on her large broad brimmed hat. ?Two weeks ago, my younger brother was fatally shot. You may have read about it? It made the front page.? I nodded. Australian then. She continued.? Someone lured him out there to that cold lonely park in the middle of the night, and then shot him. Robbery! The only thing missing was his cell phone! The ?thief? left his Rolex, wallet, and a rather expensive diamond tennis bracelet that my foolish brother must have been planning on giving to that air headed fianc頯f his. Doesn?t sound like a very good robber to me at all. Of course detective @WorkSlacking just thinks it is some drug robbery gone bad.? I filed the name away for later. I still have a few friends in the department, even now, so that could come in handy later.

? I take it you don?t share the good detective?s opinion. Do you have anything solid to back that up? Or is it just a feeling? More importantly, did anyone here want him dead?? I asked bluntly

She considered for a second. ?My brother was set to announce that he was assuming control of our father?s publishing company later this week. Only a few people knew that, but the announcement was expected to have an effect on stock prices. A lot of money was at stake. Several of my brother?s competitors are in the area at the request of the Bloom family. The Blooms have strong ties to Australia. Two of those in particular stand out to me:
Angry Hippo. He?s kind of a playboy type, big into the party circle. His family runs a rival satellite TV service out of Melbourne. Up until about a month ago, he and Darkplague used to hit the clubs together, but then they had a falling out. I don?t know what it was about, but it was messy. He is staying at the Homewood Suites in Vancouver, the same hotel my brother and his fianc頡re staying at? Were staying at.? She quickly corrected herself after only a momentary loss of composure. ? The other possibility is Angua. She?s never liked my brother. They went to the same school, and things did not go well. At one point my brother had to take out a restraining order against her. 2 weeks ago was the first time that either of them had been in the same building in years. I?m no detective, but If anyone was going to kill Darkplague, it would have been those two!?

I pondered this information for a moment. Clearly, I was going to have to talk to those two if I took the case. If, of course I was going to take the case! Who was I trying to kid? One thing had me troubled though. Why kill Darkplague in Vancouver? Foreign murderers almost always come badly in the American justice system. Seems that people around these parts really don?t take kindly to those who take care of their dirty little secrets in our country. I would need to think on that more.

?Tell me about Darkplague?s Fianc鿔 I asked.

Again, Taredoru scoffed. ?Atomicflea? Darkplague thought he was in love with her, but the little minx was just after daddy?s money. We all saw it, but he never did. Sure, she?s pretty enough, and she definitely had him wrapped around her little finger, but in the long run I think he would have figured her out, had he had the chance.?

So the Fianc頷asn?t well liked by the family. Interesting, but not a cause for murder. The very opposite in fact. ?So they weren?t married. That means she doesn?t stand to inherit anything right??

She nodded. ?Oh, I?m sure daddy will do alright by her, so she doesn?t embarrass the family, but her route to power isn?t there anymore. She had no reason to kill my brother if that?s what you are thinking. I can see that you are already thinking this through. That tells me the person who recommended you was right about you being thorough. I like that?

I nodded. ?and who recommended me, if you don?t mind me asking??

?I don?t mind a bit Mr. Drachensborn.? She finished with a smile. ?Now about your fee???

I named an outrageous figure, expecting her to counter. ?Done, Mr. Drachensborn. I?ll deposit a retainer check this afternoon to your account. Now will there be anything else??

I was momentarily taken aback. ?uhh, ummm, oh yeah. You mentioned your brother?s phone is missing. Did he keep a contact record, or anything else that might be of use??

Taredoru reached into her purse and pulled out a late model Compaq PDA. She handed it to me. ?Here, it?s password protected, but perhaps you can get something out of it.?

I thanked her, and we exchanged contact information so I could stay in touch with her to keep her informed. ?I?ll get started on this right away. I?ll be in contact when I have anything.?

?I?m sure you will Mr. Drachensborn? I?m sure you will.? And with that, she turned and swept out the door. I could have sworn the temperature in the office dropped a few degrees as the door shut. I shivered.

I turned my attention to the pda. A few quick tries of the old standard passwords didn?t produce any results. I unscrewed the back and removed the password chip. Fishing around in my desk, I pulled an identical chip attached to a ribbon cable and a device looking vaguely similar to a pocket calculator out, and placed the chip shaped end in the now vacant pda socket. I slipped the old chip in a socket in the back of the device, and turned it on. Instantly, semi-random characters began flashing on the screen of the calculator thingy. I set it aside, and turned on the now passwordless PDA. With a little luck I could retrieve the list of old passwords and an access log from the old chip. Who knows, could come in handy later on.

I started browsing the e-mail log.
Darkplague?s PDA was set up with one of the new exados mail applications. Basically Microsoft Outlook without most of the security holes. He had it set up with a main inbox, a folder descriptively marked ?stuff? and a folder labeled ?business - action.? There were 4 read, and 13 unread messages in the main inbox, 5 messages in the stuff folder, and 40 in the business folder. 5 of the unread messages were spam. 6 more were just family ?hey how?s the trip? type messages. I checked them over, but unless the guy was more paranoid than me, there were no secret messages hidden in any of those. 2 of the unread messages were of interest. The first was a reservation confirmation for the evening after the day of the murder at the Schnitzer Concert hall in Portland, OR (right across the river) to the 6:30 Oregon Metro. Symphony concert. Pretty normal for the jet set crowd, but the odd thing was that the reservation had been e-mailed from Darkplague?s now missing cell phone several hours after the murder supposedly took place. Interesting

The other message of interest was a bit of garbled text that was supposedly from an e-mail address that couldn?t actually exist. I stripped the header information from the file. Sure enough, it was a rerouted message bounced around several different servers, but supposedly originating right here in Vancouver. I sent that message over to the cryptography buffer of my main computer and set the cypherbot to work on it.

Of the previously read messages, Only one was of interest. In the ?stuff? folder, I discovered another short garbled message. This time with an address indicating it came from an Australian server. Interesting. Off to the ?bot it too went. The rest of the messages didn?t look to be relevant so I made a backup of them all to be looked at later on. While I was there, I also took a look at the calendar functions, phone lists and other pda functions. I noticed a journal file that was password protected. This too I transferred for later.

I pondered my next move. At least 2 people with motive. I definitely wanted to talk to them, but before I did that, I needed more information. I decided a trip to the scene of the crime, and the local PD might be in order before I visited any of the suspects. I grabbed my jacket and headed out the door.

* * *
A short while later, I arrived at the Vancouver Police headquarters. The imposing stone and brick building Down on Evergreen Blvd. Hadn?t changed much since the last time I had seen it. I fought down a mix of regret and nervousness, and walked towards the main entrance.

Inside, I recognized Katielynn at the front desk. I wasn?t sure what her reaction would be, but I didn?t have to wait long.

?Sir! Uh, er, I mean Kaolian!? she said with a wary smile. I relaxed.

?Hi there Katielynn. It?s been a long time.? I said.

She nodded. ?Aye, it has. Look, about what happened??

I stopped her. ?Look, it?s been along time, we?ve all moved on. I?m a PI now? I said with a wry grin.

She laughed. ?You? Heh, I guess it figures. So what brings Mr. Richard Tracy around this part of town today??

?I need a favor. The Darkplague case. I need to see the file.?

She wavered for a minute. ?Gee, I dunno? You know who?s running the case file.?

This time it was my turn to nod. ?Yeah, ?Detective? @workslacking. Not exactly my biggest fan if I recall correctly.?

?Gee, that?s an understatement??

Detective @workslacking, Or lieutenant as he was back then, had been instrumental in playing a part in the internal affairs investigation after the ? incident. To this day I don?t think he was the one that set me up to take the fall, just a ?by the book? type that latched onto the wrong cause. He helped the investigation find every clue, every trigger, just as ?they? wanted, and sent my career down a flaming path to destruction. Lucky for me I?m not the type to hold a grudge.

?Please Katielynn, this is important. I need this case..?

She sighed. ?All right. Meet me out by the copy room service entrance in 10 minutes.?

I thanked her, then made my way out to the lobby. When who should I run into but?

?Well if it isn?t Mr. Drachensborn, Detective to the stars! How?s the client babysitting buisiness going?? said @workslacking, a snide grin on his face.

?It?s a living? I shrugged.

?Better than the likes of you deserve.? He glared at me angrily ?So you think you can just waltz back in here, all is forgiven? I don?t think so?

I didn?t want to have this argument, especially with a uniformed police officer, but I decided to stick it out to give Katielynn time to grab the file.

?Look, they never proved any of that besides the dishonorable conduct charge, and even that was a wash. You know it, I know it, get over it. But you still helped those vultures take apart my life. Don?t you get it? You won. It?s over?

I turned and walked towards the door. I heard him call after me. ?You were a dirty cop, rotten to the core. You didn?t follow the rules. We all knew you would crack one day. It was just a matter of time.? He spat on the ground in my direction.

I turned. ?No, you didn?t know me at all. You saw what you wanted to see. What was convenient for your path to promotion, and you went for it without a second thought. A lot of good officers left the force because of you, and you don?t even see the rot you let inside. Fine detective you are. And with that I strode for the door.

I could see in the door reflection, he started towards me, rage in his eyes but a few of his friends stopped him. I made it outside.

I paused to take a deep breath of the crisp river air, then I made my way around back.

?What took you so long!? inquired Katielynn.

?I ran into an old friend. He wanted to play? I replied, looking off to the left in the distance.

?Oh? she said, with just a hint of sadness. ?Well, anyways, here?s a copy of the file. The original is back, he?ll never know. He didn?t even lock his file cabinet?

?Heh, figures. Those by the book types always cut corners when it suits them. Thanks?, and with that, I headed back to my car.

Inside, I examined the file. Crime scene photographs, evidence receipts, copies of all papers found in possession of the deceased, possessions of the assumedly homeless man. I looked it over briefly. No shell casings found at the scene, no prints. The ballistics report indicated the shots all came from the same gun, a colt 45, fired from around 2 and 30 feet away. Whoever fired the gun was at least a half decent shot. It was time to check up the scene of the crime.

I pulled into the main parking lot of Esther short part. The towering green spires of the interstate five bridge behind me as I headed in. The hour was just after 6:00pm, around the time when the shooting took place. As I walked, I passed the large restored steam engine that is the centerpiece of the park. Massive and blocky, it was still dwarfed by the 150 year old evergreen trees all around. The park floor was a mixture of grass and the ever present pine cone. Many, many cell phone sized shiny black pinecones.

I reached the scene of the shooting and pulled out the crime scene photo and aligned it to the area around me. Darkplague must have been about here. The homeless man was probably just about there. I placed a small scrap of paper in each spot on the floor, and then a third where I thought the shooter might have been standing, then stood back to survey the scene. After all this time, even if there had been a print, I wouldn?t be able to see it, but I at least had a good idea where to look for a shell casing.

I started looking around, when I heard a <bleat!> from behind. I turned. A Rhododendron bush was bleating at me? WTF? I went over to take a closer look. As I approached, a small grey shape took off like a cheetah . I could swear it looked like a goat. I didn?t pursue it though, because at that moment my eyes spotted a black shiny shape nestled in the branches of the Rhododendron bush. It was the missing cell phone. I picked it up.

It was not too badly off for 2 weeks out in the cold wet Vancouver air. Those Japanese make some durable toys! The top of the line Motorola flip phone?s battery was dead, it apparently had been open all this time. Why was it open? Had Darkplague been making a call at the time? Perhaps with a little technical know-how I could retrieve the last stored information from the flash memory.

I looked around the area some more, but didn?t find any other clues. As night fell, I drove back to my office/apartment. In the morning I resolved to go pay Angry Hippo and Angua a visit. Perhaps Atomicflea could also shed some light on the situation. I checked the computers. Neither encryption program was quite done. Stupid 256 bit encryption. And with that, I grumbled off to sleep, the scene from the lobby of the police station turning over in my mind as I drifted off. Perhaps tomorrow would be a better day.

The next day, I woke up early. After a bit of breakfast, and a few phone calls, I sat down to my workstation and brought up the OS. The encryption program and cypherbots had both finished their duties. The garbled text message from Darkplagues PDA was flashing ?done? in the queue, so I pulled it up. Here is what it said.

?Transfer complete. Awaiting purchase instructions on ATComm preferred stock. You currently control 41 percent, and have an option for 51 percent with voting rights. How shall we proceed?
Krull financial?

Hmmm. Interesting. I set the searchbot to covert mode and let it go to dig up whatever it could about ?Krull financial?. I turned my attention to the password chip for the PDA. The password decrypter had done it?s job well: Xrg1a1952b^ was the password listed. That could come in useful. I decided to have a go at the cell phone.

I retrieved the phone, still in it?s open state from my jacket and placed it on the workbench table. This was going to be a delicate operation, so I turned on the overhead scanner/light combo. Simply plopping in a new battery would erase whatever data might be in the buffer. Using a small Philips head screwdriver, I removed the plastic casing from the back of the phone, exposing the circuit board, power leads, and the ribbon cable up to the display. Using a microcutter, I gently snipped the power cable portion of the ribbon cable. I then spliced in a thin power lead from my desktop power supply, and adjusted the output to match factory specifications. The tiny LCD lit up. Next, I placed a power inductor pad over the flash ram chip. Slowly, I increased the power, stabilizing the memory buffer. With that done, I severed the power connections to the chip itself using a microsaw, then bridged the gap in the circuit with a bit of wire. That done, I turned my attention to the battery compartment. Despite the time the phone had spent exposed to the elements, t was in surprisingly good condition. The terminals needed a bit of work though. I removed the remains of the spent battery, then got out a mixture of Vinegar, Citric acid, and activated baking soda. After a bit of fizzing as the ingredients combined, I used a fine wire brush to coat the power terminals in the case. Minutes later, they were back to factory clean. I attached another set of power leads to the battery box, and brought the phone online.

The phone LCD instantly switched from blue to the desktop screen. On it, there was a partially dialed number:

286? The last numbers were missing
Well, it was a start. Not too much to go on though.
I pulled up the call log, and keybuffer time stamp. The last key pressed was within the timeframe for the coroner reported time of death. That gave me a pretty good idea of when exactly the murder took place. Could be very useful in proving or disproving an alibi.

I flipped again through the copy of the police file. Nothing else stood out immediately. I?d take the time to read it more in depth later that afternoon, just in case.

With that all said and done, I headed out the door towards my first appointment.

Mr. Angry hippo?s personal assistant had seemed to be a bit hesitant to allow me access when I first called, until I mentioned that I was representing Taredoru. After that Mr. Hippo was more than happy to see me any time I wanted to stop by. I grabbed my coat.

I made my way over to the Homewood Suites hotel. The impressive granite brick fa硤e, surrounded by tall evergreen trees gave it the look of an ancient medieval hunting lodge. Only the parking lot filled with expensive imported automobiles gave lie to the illusion. It had been built back in the early 1900?s as rich miners coming back from the Alaskan gold rush made their way back east.

I pushed open a large brass bound door and walked into the richly wood paneled lobby. A large stone fireplace cheerily lit the middle of the lobby. Off to the east, breakfast was being served to a few patrons. I wandered over to the main desk and signed in while the desk clerk rang the room. Shortly thereafter Mr. Hippo?s personal assistant, alwayslost came down and led me to the room. Inside, I found Angry hippo sitting on a large leather couch, wearing a Hugh Hefner standard issue smoking jacket. An attractive woman on each arm. He looked up, then turned to his companions. ?Fifi, Betty, take a walk. Hippo has business to attend to?. They both pouted, then giggled and walked out the front door. I saw alwayslost give them a disapproving glance before he too withdrew.

?so, Mr. Drachensborn. My assistant mentioned you had some business with me this morning. Sit, please, sit. Would you like some Brandy? It?s a particularly good vintage?? I shook my head no politely.

?Mr. Hippo, as you know, recently your associate Darkplague was murdered down at Esther Short Park. I?m investigating at the request of his sister.

He nodded. ?Yes, tragic that. I am of course happy to help out in any way I can. Tell me, how is Taredoru taking it?? he asked, perhaps a tad too earnestly.

?Uh, erm, she?s in mourning.? I replied a bit awkwardly.

?Ah, I see. It is to be expected. Still, let her know she has my sympathy, won?t you? Now tell me, what can I do for you?? he asked.

?I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions.? I queried.

?Certainly, although I don?t see what good the answers will do you.? He answered, a bit warily.

I nodded. ?It?s routine to question the associates of a murder victim. Haven?t the police taken a statement already??

He shook his head. ?No, they called to let me know it had happened, but they said it was a drug crime. Terrible tragedy.?

I cursed @workslacking silently. A rookie cop wouldn?t have made that mistake, especially not a ?by the book? type. Something strange was going on here.

?Aye, that it was. Now tell me, on the night of the murder, at 6:15pm, where were you??

He frowned. ?I?m not sure I like your insinuation Mr. Drachensborn?

I shrugged. ?It IS a standard question.?

He sighed with disdain. ?Oh, very well. If you must know, I was at the charity auction ball still with Fifi. At least 50 people probably saw me there. Feel free to check.? Now is there anything else? I am a very busy man??

?Well actually, there is one other question. A few weeks ago eyewitnesses reported that you and the victim had a major argument, then a falling out, Can you shed some light on this?? I asked, trying my best to not further antagonize him.

It didn?t work. Angry hippo was visibly? erm, well angry now. His face scarlet as he threw up his hands and began to pace. ?Why does this always come up?! It wasn?t that big of a deal! Look, it was about something that happened way back when we were in college back in Canberra. Darkplague found out some information about something that happened once at a frat party, he took it wrong, and he was ******* Sure, we had it out about it, and we weren?t on speaking terms, but it wasn?t something that anyone would kill over.?

I nodded. ?So this argument was just about college??

He sighed with impatience, clearly still angry. ?If you must know, it was over a girl. But that?s all I am saying without a lawyer present. Mr. Drachensborn, you hare trying my patience. I really think you should leave. Now.? And with that, he stomped off into the back room. I sensed that perhaps I had overstayed my welcome, and made my way to the door. As I exited into the lobby, I passed the bimbo twins and alwayslost heading back to the room. As I passed alwayslost, he handed me a scrap of paper without ever looking in my direction. I walked outside the lobby and into the foyer. There I read the note:

360-555-2534

Mr. Drachensborn, I have information you need, but my employer would be most irritated if I were to give it to you. Call this number after 7:30pm. I am doing this only to protect my position.
A

I put the note in my pocket. This was certainly an interesting development. Overall my detective senses were not registering Mr. Hippo as a major suspect despite his abrupt manner with me, but now I was intrigued. I promised myself that I would make the call when the time came.

I had a little spare time before my next encounter, so I decided to run a quick errand. A short drive later, I pulled into the parking lot of a small, seemingly run down shop down on Main street. An aged sign out front proclaimed the building ?Mren?s Antiquities?. I walked inside.

The interior was in surprisingly good repair given the outside conditions. Soft hanging lights and artfully placed spotlights lit the various treasures spaced around the shop. Antique swords, paintings, period furniture pieces surrounded the front of the room, while a large grand piano dominated the center of the room. Off to one side, a large bearded lizard surveyed his domain with grim approval. At the back of the room, Mren sat behind the counter. I nodded to him as I made my way to the register.

?Hey Mren, how?s the junk collection business going today?? I said. I often teased him about his odd hobby, which he had started back in the force. He had been caught up in the same mess that saw the end of my career, so we had a common, if uneasy bond.

?It?s not junk! And put that down! You?ll break it! You still owe me for the last one!?

oh. Er. Oops. I had forgotten about that. I quickly put the expensive looking bauble down. ?he he, sorry about that. I?ll tell you what though, I?ll make it up to you. I happen to know someone who is in the market for a piano for their lobby. I?ll send them on over? thinking of one of my other clients, who had damaged their other piano a few weeks earlier after receiving some particularly unpleasant news. Besides, Mren had been trying to sell the thing for years. I didn?t even know how he was going to get it through the doors. ?Hey Mren, you still have that back room wired??

The back room of Mren?s shop was legendary. Back before Mren bought it, it had been a communications hub for old Pacific bell network. A new hub was built later on, but the previous owner had been some sort of mad wiring genius, and had managed to reactivate the old node without tripping any of the line fail safes. To this day we still don?t know how he managed it. Mren had brought the old timer in for privacy code violations a time or two, but in the end, He decided that the old shop was just what he needed to clear his name, and hopefully someday, mine. Hey, if you can?t beat them?

Mren nodded. ?Yeah, How long are you going to need? I?ve got a trace running right now???

I shrugged. ?Probably only a few minutes. I?m not in a hurry though.?

He thought for a sec. ?Ok, come back later this evening. I should be done by then. Bring some Chinese food!?
I took my leave and promised I?d bring some decent Chinese food.

A short while later I arrived at the Inn at the Quay down at the Columbia River waterfront. I parked my car, then headed in for my appointment with Angua.

...To be continued because the second half has a slight problem since I already used one of the characters I thought I was going to use here?
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#6 Apr 18 2006 at 12:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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THe Shiny Shiny Caricature thread

http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4&mid=107418833213739751#107425429266046281

Edited, Tue Apr 18 20:51:24 2006 by Kaolian
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#7 Apr 18 2006 at 12:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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One of my story threads.

http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=1&mid=1079989114513059725#108007403336003123

Edited, Tue Apr 18 20:52:00 2006 by Kaolian
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#8 Apr 18 2006 at 12:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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The Psychich ranger thread

http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4&mid=1082502290658767994

Edited, Tue Apr 18 20:52:47 2006 by Kaolian
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#9 Apr 18 2006 at 12:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Happy happy adminy day for me http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4&mid=1083096517941706768#1083098146121659138

Edited, Tue Apr 18 20:49:56 2006 by Kaolian
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#10 Apr 18 2006 at 12:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Source:
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=3&mid=1096324121611375993#1096326400142534558

Well, it's like this. Once upon a time, there were between 7 and 10 servers, named Bob, Larry, Moe, Curley, Bob II, Bob III, Bob IV, Cluster7, Lucy, The server which shall NOT be named, etc. They were happy servers who lived in a commune with much glee. In the beginning, each server had a time, and that time was THE time, and all shared THE time, and it was good and there was much rejoiceing

Then, one day the hoards of FFXI people came unto the site en-masse, and bogged down the servers in various amounts being adequatly described as bunches of peoples, and the servers were tired and weary. they slowly lost time sync, so that a BobII and Bob III had THE time, but THE time was no longer the same THE time.

now when the users came and posted with much gnashing of teath, they would recieve the timestamp of doom from bobII, let's say 2:07pm. The user then thinks of another really spiffy idea and goes to post again. in between posting and viewing, BobII got loaded up, so the server collective mind thingy (they are the bork. Resistance is feudal) decides to shunt our hapless poster to BobIII.

BobIII is 30 seconds ahead of BobII. so BobIII sees the timestamp of doom, and goes hmmm, wait a minute, this is actually 30 seconds, plus however many seconds under the filter the time was and goes "Thou art postething too fast darn it, 30+whatever seconds remaining"

Seeing as there are multiples of servers, on a bad day you can get quite a few of them out of sync, so depending on what server you hit you can get upwards of 50 seconds of seperation or more. there is a piece of code in place to prevent that, but it doesn't always seem to work. I personally think we need to build $3.7 cesium atomic clocks into each one, but for some reason that idea didn't fly well when i brought it up...
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#11 Apr 18 2006 at 7:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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Darkflame's collected classic lines:
http://wow.allakhazam.com/journal2.html?user=121773;mid=1087941041132992566;num=46;page=1
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#12 Apr 18 2006 at 7:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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#13 Apr 18 2006 at 7:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel's 20K post
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4;mid=1133877567265753846
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#14 Apr 18 2006 at 7:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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#15 Apr 04 2008 at 10:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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Message has high abuse count and will not be displayed.
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#16 Sep 04 2010 at 12:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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Magi Fired
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=28&mid=1181843711164583148&page=1&howmany=50
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#17 Sep 04 2010 at 12:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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The "time to put on my lawyer hat" thread (death threats and all!)
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=18&mid=1154900499277002254&page=6&howmany=50#msg115690323683312861
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#18 Sep 04 2010 at 12:46 AM Rating: Excellent
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Allakhazam says goodbye
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=28&mid=1254327011109603375
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#19 Sep 04 2010 at 12:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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6 years of forum prediction threads:
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4&mid=1262308241259099937&page=1&howmany=50

(links in thread)
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#20 Sep 04 2010 at 12:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Ask an admin day 2009 and 2008
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=28&mid=126102057673784469&page=1&howmany=50
(link to 2008 in thread)
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#21 Sep 04 2010 at 12:50 AM Rating: Excellent
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First ever non UBB game of last
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=4&mid=106818253662067&page=1&howmany=50
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#22 Aug 20 2013 at 3:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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A really long thread
http://everquest.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=243&mid=123797795469178296
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