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Logfile LOG9605B Part 6

May 10, 1996

File: "FORKNI-L LOG9605B" Part 6

	TOPICS (Continuing List Wars--FK War II post from parts 3, 4 & 5):
	FK WarsII: The Die-Hard Charter
	FKWARSII--Sandra Is Confused [part 2/2]
	FKWAR2: Riding Through the War
	FKWar2: Defective Cousins
	FKWAR2: The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging
	FKWars2: More Trouble Than You Can Shake a Stick At[part2/2]
	FKWarsII:  FOSsiLs Attack, Gamma(3) -- Through the Looking Glass
	FK Wars2: Bang the Drum Slowly

Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 00:53:18 -0400
From: "L.D. Steele" <steele@f.......>
Subject:      FK WarsII: The Die-Hard Charter

July 6th, 9pm

     Hamilton was finally started to cool off.  It had been one of
those incredibly hot and humid days where moving outside was an
effort.  People scuttled from air-conditioned building to
air-conditioned building.  Of course the crazy ones went to the gym
on the McMaster campus.  It was <supposed> to have air conditioned,
but it never seemed to be in evidence.

     Dawn got home from the gym just after 9pm.  *A full day at
work, 2 grueling hours of Karate, and then a bike ride home.  It
would be a lot more fun if it wasn't so @#$#%!!! hot.*  She dumped
the damp clothes and changed into far more skimpier attire.  *I'm
glad I don't have to worry about company tonight.  Right now I'd be
willing to pay for air conditioning.*   After checking her email
for any messages from Kathy Tracy, or anyone else reporting in, she
sank down into her soft futon chair and started to relax.  *Hmmm.
If the courier people work nights, (1) the head honchos should have
gotten their mail by now.*

(1) <-Remember, this is fiction. I can do it if I want to. :)

     Reports were starting to come in from various people (human or
otherwise) sympathetic to the Die-Hard cause.  Monica had the
deserted the Ravenettes and joined the cousins.  It had been quite
a loud switchover, and the repercussions were still being felt.
Cousin John had apparently kidnapped a bunny and LaCroix was <not>
pleased.  *I wonder how many computer viruses will be transmitted
around this time. It's a good thing I backed everything up
<yesterday> before I entered the arena.  Norton anti-virus can't
handle everything.*

     Dawn's eyes closed briefly and thoughts of Barney stickers and
Barney bubble bath started to drift through her mind.  *It's a good
thing I don't have a Barney phobia, or any other major ones.  A
small healthy fear of heights just doesn't count.  Besides,
parachuting pretty much killed that one.*   Dawn got up and made
herself a late supper.   *I wish I could know how the others will
react.  Later reports just aren't as nice.*

     Meanwhile all over Toronto and the world, packages were opened
and read...

     Natalie picked up the package off her desk.  Even with the war
on she still had to work.  Unexpected packages were treated with a
lot more suspicion however.
     She cautiously opened the courier package and a heavy document
stapled at one corner spilled out.  The front page announced the
document title in large type.
          The Authorized Charter, version 2.3
          Produced and Published by Die-Hard Inc.,
          A Non-Profit Organization.
     *This thing must be over a hundred pages.*  Natalie started to
idly flip through.  *Mmmm. What this?*

     "...Section 12: Any Die-Hards (having publicly stating their
membership) should not be forced into choosing any affiliation.
Any party found to be involved in such activities will lose our
services as neutral bargaining agents.  Furthermore if the offense
is found to be part of a general plan, the party will also be
refused entrance and sanctuary at our local base of operations, the
St. George Residence..."

      *I wonder if Nick got one of these?*  Natalie sat down in her
chair and picked up the phone.  Still reading the charter she
punched in Nick's number...
Meanwhile, Sometime that night...

     LaCroix was dressed elegantly in gray silk pajamas and a red
and black dressing coat.  He was lounging in an easy chair and
wasn't planning on getting up for a bit.  He still felt a little
queasy from that FOD package he'd opened the day before.
Physically he was fine, but the thought of unsuspicious packages
containing such vile cargo turned his stomach.

      Cousin John had been reading the charter out loud for the
past hour.  Even skipping some subsections he was only on page 34.

     "...Section 45a:  While this organization will accept
anonymous donations from members of the various parties, no
donations will be accepted from any leader of any party.
Furthermore, no donations will or can be accepted once a war
between the various parties has started."

     "Reread that section.  And stop muttering oaths, I can hear
everything you say."  LaCroix had an amused smile on his face.
Cousin John might have some interesting plans to use the rabbit to
bring Beth Marchese over to the Cousins, but that still didn't
excuse the other consequences.  Several of the other cousins were
<very> upset at John, and it wouldn't do to have dissention in the
ranks.  A little semi-public punishment and the cousins would be
able to work together as agreeably as they ever did.

      Cousin John voice was started to get a little scratchy.  *All
I need is to get a bad case of laryngitis in the middle of a war.
Hades! I wish I could get a drink of water...*  Being fully aware
of possible outcomes if he <didn't> obey Uncle at the moment, he
started to reread the section.
Meanwhile at the Raven...

     Alma had been threading her way through the Charter for almost
an hour.  While not a lot of the contents stuck, she had always
liked to read law books and had a subscription to various study
reports. She was having a pretty good time.

     "...Section 87:  In the case of any member of any party
wishing to plead sanctuary.  Rooms will be available at the St.
George Residence for the duration of the war (subject to section
12).  No holy objects are allowed on the premises.   The residence
is equipped with basic defenses against attack, and is armed
against aerial entrance with motion detecting ultraviolet lasers.
Once a party member has entered the residence, they should refrain
from attacking any other persons also there seeking sanctuary. ..."

      "Alma!  Get in here right now!"  Janette voice <carried> from
the other room.  It sounded urgent, but then it was <always>

     Alma put down the Charter text and went into the other room to
see what Janette wanted.  A few minutes later, any memory of it had
already passed through the short-term memory into blank
nothingness.  The bartender picked it up.  Having been picked for
his looks and not his ability to read the written English language,
he looked at it for a minute and then stuffed it into the lost and
found box.
Meanwhile in Nick's loft...

Rrrrringg!   Rrrrringg!  Rrrrringg!  "Yeah, Nick Knight..."

     The party on the other line obviously did not feel like
leaving a message.
Meanwhile at Pamela Rush's place...

     The package was addressed c/o FOD member.  After putting it
through the portable x-ray machine she kept in the hall closet for
just such occasions, Pamela opened the package and started to

war --sb krig, ufred; (fig) kanp, strid; vb fo(slash)re frig;
      at ~ i krig; (fig) i strid (with med); have been in the -s
      vaere slemt medtaget; council of ~ krigsra(o)d; etc.
war game --(mil.) krigsspil, T papirkrig.

Date:         Fri, 8 Jul 1994 05:43:58 -0500
From: TMP_HARKINS@d.......
Subject:      FKWARSII--Sandra Is Confused [part 2/2]-----------------------

July 6, 1994, 10:00 PM:

     I sat at the computer looking at my message.  Was I being
foolish to send it?  Would people think _I'd_ flipped a gourd?
     Well, I could always claim it was a bogus message or a joke if
it came to a question of my sanity.
     I had been turning the situation involving the leaflet over in
my head all evening.  Bruce and Amanda were safely tucked in bed
which only left me with more time to ponder the matter with no
distractions.  The note was addressed to three people I knew from
reading FORKNI-L were prominent in their respective groups and to
a fourth, maybe quite important, person (the supposed leaflet
creator).  I couldn't remember anyone prominent from the
Raven/Ravenettes.  It read:

pkrush01@u......., steele@f.......
From: tmp_harkins@d.......

My husband Bruce returned home today with a "leaflet" from Dawn
Steele, the "Chief Die-Hard," that said, in part, "Our party is
aware that a second war has begun."

Is this for real?  Is there a real FK Wars going on?

Please respond asap.

--Sandra Gray

[end of part
Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 04:00:38 -0500
From: Cousin Dennis <sls158@p.......>
Subject:      FKWAR2: Riding Through the War

                   Riding Through The War

     The plan was simple.  LaCroix had kept it that way; after all,
Dennis was a new cousin and loyalties had to be tested before they
could be relied on.  Hopefully, this would seal the bond that would
forever make Dennis a cousin.
     "What do you want me to do?"  The young novitiate seemed eager
to please LaCroix.
     "Nothing too dramatic...just prove to me where your loyalties
lie, and I <know> we're going to get along just fine."  Uncle eyed
up his new toy, hoping for success, but ready for failure.
     "What's your plan?"
     "Janette has sent the traitorous Laurie a fax...my spy in the
Raven came across some rather <interesting> information.
Unfortunately, the fax records were deleted before he had a chance
to retrieve it. I want you to intercept the fax before it gets to
Laurie.  I trust you can do this?"
     "Consider it done."  Dennis smiled knowingly and shook
Sandye's secret collection of Laurie's keys.
     "I see you like to come prepared..."
     "That's what comes from being a Scout."  Dennis slammed the
door and raced down the stairs.  LaCroix smiled quietly to
     "I like you young Dennis.  You've got..."  Interrupted by the
arrival of Cousin John, Uncle turned and made his way to the
balcony and the warm night air.

     Dennis' new Saturn flew down the highway like a fine white
stallion riding through the night.  This had been an easy
assignment.  The keys had slipped into the lock on the computer
building door without a hitch.  The fax had just come off the
machine and laid face down, untouched.  With no one there to log it
in, Dennis took it and ran, leaving no trace behind.


     Staring at the uniformed figure stepping smugly through the
doorway, LaCroix chuckled devilishly at Dennis...finally, someone
who knew the importance of covering all the bases...someone who
could dot all the I's and cross all the T's...yes, this one would
do just nicely.
     "Do you have what I wanted?"
     "Yes I have.  As Dennis walked back to give the precious fax
to Monica, LaCroix revelled in the knowledge that for once in his
life, someone was doing it his way.

Cousin Dennis
Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 17:08:46 -0600
From: John Dencoff <jdencoff@u.......>
Subject:      FKWar2: Defective Cousins

        Cousin John stared in silence after LaCroix and Cousin
Dennis abruptly cut off their conversation when he'd entered the
room. Without a word--and perhaps a small hint of derision on
LaCroix's face--both of them turned and left the room without
saying another word.  *What had happened?* John thought.  *LaCroix
used to encourage the Cousins to act semi-independently, and now
he's alienated poor Laurie and is treating the new converts like

        It was true.  LaCroix was playing some much bigger game,
and the Cousins were gradually being replaced.  This couldn't just
be about the rabbit, he thought.  No, if his plans had come to
fruition, LizBeth might be a Cousin right now.  There was something
deeper going on, and LaCroix apparently didn't trust all the
Cousins with the plan.  Certainly something involving Janette and
the Raven.

        Well, he thought, I'm tired of being used to run
interference for LaCroix.  Some of the things he'd done for LaCroix
weren't simply twisted, but downright evil...like trapping poor
Brian with the laptop and its virus, eventually sending him to
jail.  Brian couldn't possibly break out of that by himself.  The
evidence was too well set up.

        Dennis left in a rush, headed for his car, a smug
expression on his face.  *Let's see that expression in a few years,
bub...*John thought bitterly.  Shadowing behind Dennis, collecting
his disks first (and a few of LaCroix's personal disks accidentally
at the same time), he got in his car and trailed the new Cousin.
He tried to remember what he'd overheard...something about a FAX to

        Dennis eventually drove up to a small building, got out and
used *Sandye's* set of keys to let himself inside.  John quickly
pulled up in a small alleyway so he wouldn't be noticed.  "Some
sort of fax, hmmm...."  Well, tapping into the phone lines was
child's play, with the hardware he'd stored in his car.  Soon
enough, the fax arrived, and John downloaded it to his small
notebook computer.  Maybe Laurie wouldn't get the FAX, but she'd
get Janette's message:  he typed a quick message to her via e-mail,
and sent the contents of the FAX immediately after.

        TO:  Laurie Salopek
        FROM:  Cousin John

        Hey, I heard about the fallout with the big L.  I'm
        not doing that well myself.  I thought I owed you one,
        though--here's a fax from Janette that LaCroix tried
        to intercept.  LaCroix has seen it, just so you know,
        but I don't think he'll know I'm giving you a copy.

        BEGIN article xx-j.001:
        >>>article attached and sent...next?

This would definitely get him on LaCroix's bad side, without any
doubt.  But the deed was done.  Laurie would get the FAX, if in a
different form.  Reading it over quickly, he almost lost his
balance.  "Geez!  What the heck?!"  Janette was certainly going to
make Laurie prove herself...and this little FAX would change
everything.  This decided it:  he would no longer be following
LaCroix's twisted plans, and what Janette had in mind wasn't going
to be a joyride either.  He needed some way to escape, and he had
no place to...unless...

        TO:  Sharon Scott
        FROM:  Cousin John

        Sharon, I know seeing this will be something of a shock,
        but you're the only Knightie that I could think of on
        short notice.  LaCroix has totally lost it, and Janette
        is brewing something big.  I can't go into the details,
        but I feel bad for what I've done in LaCroix's name.
        Can I trust you to use the info I've got?
        Attached to the end of this will be decisive proof that
        Brian Gestrel could *not* have produced the computer
        virus that landed him in jail.  It's part of the
        original source code for the virus, that no one could
        know except the creator.
        This will free Brian--can I trust you to get it to
        the FBI?
        Please try not to incriminate me.  I'm leaving LaCroix
        for good.
        I'll try to get the disks to you as well...but there's
        too much here to download by phone.  If you can get there,
        without getting caught, try to meet me in Dallas, TX
        at the Waldenbooks on main.  I can give them to you

        Here's the sourcecode:
        BEGIN FILE xx8-007.001...
        >>>file transmitted and sent...next?

Well, that did it.  In one stroke, he'd severed his ties to
LaCroix...and LaCroix wouldn't be pleased.  Dennis came out of the
computer building then, triumphant with FAX in hand.

                *               *               *

        Sharon stared at her computer screen in disbelief.  It must
obviously be a trap...but the sourcecode was authentic!  She
thought carefully, then put in a call to one of her friends...

Cousin John
 Emperor of Harpsichords
will he become:  ??
 Sir John
 Knight Repentant
Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 02:42:06 -0500
From: Cousin Sandye-rah <sac116@p.......>
Subject:      FKWAR2: IN THE CAGE

                         In The Cage

     One of the last things LaCroix had told them was to avoid
missed opportunities.  Too many of these  petty skirmishes were
unnecessary; if he wanted to extend his control, they would have to
find a way to maximize their efforts.  Monica, Dennis, John,
Sandye--cousins all--soon discovered that one such opportunity was
about to land right in their collective laps.
     The secret was would need to be told.  Cousin Laurie's dilemma
weighed heavily on Sandye's mind.  As if the night had not been
full enough of surprise, that note sent by her old friend had
fallen like a bombshell on her unexpecting head.  Well, that was a
lie.  For some time now, Sandye had known about the disappointment
Laurie felt about being a cousin.  Perhaps it wasn't fun anymore.
Perhaps the last war had simply taken the mickey out of her.
Perhaps she was just getting too old for games.  Who could say...
What really mattered was that Laurie was defecting to the
Ravenettes.  Discarding her cousin-garb like so much wasted time,
Laurie ran like a rat to a pipers tune.  The fact remained that she
had been in secret communication with Janette--that fax had been
the final step in a long line of deceptions--and now, there was
nothing Sandye could do to save her old friend from disaster.   The
door was closing slowly behind her; like a bird in a cage, Laurie
had sealed her fate.
     Cousin John waited patiently in the parking lot at Toftrees;
how long it would take Uncle to return, he had no idea, but still,
this time he would follow Uncle's instructions to the letter.
Thank goodness someone had taken Hazel back...he felt bad enough
about his little trick, and she had really been such a clever
bunny...now he didn't have to worry about that anymore.  A smile
crossed his face. There would be quite a lot of cursing when those
Knighties tried out the disks they had taken...yes, it <was> oh-so
good to be handy with computers.  Spare disks in hand, John stood,
just as directed, by the blue Chevy docked opposite Sandye and
Laurie's apartment building.  LaCroix was late, as usual.
     "Don't tell me....John following orders...and so
diligently....what <ever> has become of you?" LaCroix placed a firm
hand on the cousin's shoulder.  What might have been terror turned
quickly to triumph, and in that moment of question. Uncle's
laughter redeemed John from his previous mistakes.
     "I'm just doing what comes naturally...being a cousin that is.
Here are the disks."
     "Good.  And the bunny?"
     "Taken back.  Or rather stolen back...someone saved me a lot
of trouble."
     "Next time, save us all the trouble and <listen>...you know
how I <hate> to prove my point."  John knew nothing of the sort,
but he wasn't going to argue about it this time.  Without so much
as a warning, LaCroix picked John up by the shirt and lifted them
both up to Sandye's balcony.
     "Third floor...women's lingerie, power tools, sporting
goods..."  After dropping John on the far end, Uncle made his way
past the gas-grill and into the living room. Gathering himself
together, John followed along, disks still clutched tightly in one
     "I hope you enjoyed the ride."
     "And if I didn't?"
     "I could always try a <different > route.."
     "I <loved> the ride."
     "Now how did I know you were going to say that?"
     "Must have been an inspired guess.  Have you decided what
we're going to do about Laurie?"  The question hung like a dead
breeze in the muggy air.
     "All in good time Sandye, all in good time.  Has Dennis
returned yet?"
     "No...not since ten o'clock...I thought it just a bit funny
when Dennis ran out of here..."
     "And Monica?"
     "Back in the bedroom working on the computer.  I take it that
they're on a mission..."
     "Sometimes, my dear, you're tendency for understatement is
sort of amusing...and then there's times like these..."
     "Sorry.  Maybe if you just told me what we're going to do
about Laurie...I mean, well, if it's going to be something <really>
serious..."  Sandye stopped, afraid to let Uncle see her dread at
the prospects of cousin-ish retribution.
     "I have something <very> special in mind, and someone just as
special to carry it out.  So how about it...are <you> having an
inspired guess?"
     "I'd say I could bet the farm on it."
     "Good.  Well, let's get on with some serious business...what
about those rabbit-people?"
     "The Brethren?  I think we might make some of them change
their minds...especially when they find out what Janette's trying
to pull."
     "Dear Janette...she couldn't have made it any easier for us,
could she?  That's what happens when you let your <passions> rule
your head.... "
     "Or your heart..." Sandye turned around to see Dennis standing
by the door, some sort of paper in hand.
     "Have we found what we were looking for?"
     "Yes we have.  I'll just take it into to Monica, then?"
Dennis motioned toward the bedroom, and after receiving the
go-ahead from Uncle, slipped casually away.
     "One down, two to go...I just love it when a plan comes
together..."  The sentence trailed off behind him as he took off
into the darkened sky and onto the next stage of the game.

Cousin Sandye-rah
Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 04:18:40 -0500
From: "Cousin Monica@l......." <sac116@p.......>
Subject:      FKWAR2: The Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging


      Monica sat down at her computer after reading the fax that
Dennis had given her.  She felt that she owed her former allies and
Warren members at least a warning of the impending danger. She
logged into her temporary account, opened her mailer and started

TO: Brethren of Wicked Warren
(catmclah@c......., tara@h.......,
LizBeth258@a......., SusanG2522@a......., vmeachum@f.......)
FROM: Cousin@l....... (Cousin Monica)
SUBJECT:  Don't kill the messenger!...please!

I  wanted  to  take the opportunity to warn you that Janette has
targeted  those  of  you who chose to ally yourselves with  the
Warren  in  the  last  conflict  for  having divided  loyalties.
Unfortunately  my defection has brought her wrath  down  on  you.
She  means to make an example of you by testing Laurie,  her  new
convert,  to  see  whether her  loyalties  truly  lie  with  the

Cousin Monica -- The General (who hopes that you won't be blinded
by her defection)


       She sent the letter and started to think.
      "Would they wallow in their own prejudicial hatred of all
that the  Cousins and LaCroix stood for?"  No, Monica, in  her
heart, believed that they would hear what she had to say.
      "After all, wasn't Sandye a cousin?  Didn't we start the
Warren to bring peace to the squabbling factions?  And didn't they
all place their trust in us then?"  Surely they had to see the
truth. Janette was twisting everyone to play her game.  And Nick
himself had broken the truce.  The Cousins were not the evil
minions in this conflict.  No, this time it was Janette, one so
wrapped up in self-preservation that she did not think to protect
those protecting her, and Nick, a self-loathing, spoiled brat.
There was safety in being a Cousin; even Lisa, a hold-out die hard,
was now a Cousin.   Yes, the balance of power had shifted and
power, of course, was not always a bad thing in the grand parade of
lifeless packaging.
      Monica hoped her fellow Brethren would make it through this
baptism of fire.

Cousin Monica
Date:         Wed, 6 Jul 1994 19:03:03 -0800
From: "S. Tanaquil Johnson" <sarajnsn@v.......>
Subject:      FKWars2: More Trouble Than You Can Shake a Stick At[part2/2]

By the time John got home, he was absolutely ravenous, and in a
thoroughly foul mood.  He was still fuming over the loss of his
best furry asset, and a continuous diet of Barney treats hadn't
helped.  But he'd gone shopping earlier today, and was looking
forward to a good meal uninterrupted by malevolent delivery persons
and leg-thumping rabbits.

In his hurry to get into the kitchen and start dinner, he didn't
even notice that the fruit bowl was ominously empty and that the
pretzels had gone from the top of the fridge.  Then he opened the

... and began to scream.

There was absolutely nothing in it but protein shakes.

Green protein shakes.

Shaking from head to foot, the Emperor of Harpsichords began to
read the labels.  "Pistachio."  "Mint Delight."  "Kiwi Surprise."
OH HORRORS!!  "Mango chutney."  He yanked open the freezer, and
discovered that it was full of orange protein shakes.  "Tropical
Sunrise."  He didn't even want to know what was in that one.  A
mango-guava-passionfruit blend, no doubt.  "Baby Aspirin."  He
slammed the freezer door and started flinging open cabinet after
cabinet.  Every single one was full of powdered protein shake mix.
One label caught his eye.  It read "Chocolate Marshmallow
Licorice".  He could hear himself whimpering.

Then he saw the bottle on the table, with the note attached.

The note read:

Dear Cousin John,

Rabbit is really very bad for the diet.  I think you'll find this
to be an improvement.  You know the routine:  A shake for
breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a sensible dinner.

Bon Appetit!

'With Affection',

Tanaquil, NatPack

John examined the bottle warily.  It *looked* like red wine.
Surely a follower of Natalie's wouldn't have --

As if compelled, he found himself pouring a glass and lifting it to
his lips.  The next minute he was spitting and choking.  It wasn't
blood.  It was much, much worse.

It was undiluted Ribena.

S. Tanaquil Johnson  <sarajnsn@v.......>
[end of
Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 16:24:56 -0500
From: Debbie Kraft <cat@e.......>
Subject:      FKWarsII:  FOSsiLs Attack, Gamma(3) -- Through the Looking Glass

July 6, 1994
10:00pm, Toronto time

    Cheshire arrived at the address just in time to see Selma
leaving with a bundle of computer disks and a rabbit in a cage.
Knightie commando run, of course.  But how did the rabbit get
wrapped up in this?  She shrugged, figured it didn't matter in the
long run.  Sidney had said to get the rabbit back to her owner
"soonest possible," and Cheshire wasn't about to flub an

    As Selma was loading her booty into a rental car, Cheshire
slipped up behind her and dexterously impaled the side of Selma's
neck with an acupuncture needle.  The rabbit squealed in alarm as
her hutch fell from Selma's nerveless fingers.  "Shhhh,"  Cheshire
whispered, struggling with Selma's inert body.  "We'll be out of
here in jig time, I promise."

    The rabbit's liquid brown eyes rolled around in a mix of
puzzlement and fright.  {Who?  Who?}

    "Hoo, hoo?  I thought you were a rabbit, not an owl."  Cheshire
laughed at her joke, fishing for the keys in Selma's pocket.  She
found them, unlocked the passenger back door, and gently reclined
Selma onto the back seat.  "Name's Cheshire.  Part of the FOSsiLs.
Just sit tight, and I'll be done in a jiffy."

    {Can't see!}  the rabbit complained.

    "Course not, silly.  You don't think I'd do this visible, do
you?"  Cheshire shot the rabbit an annoyed look.  "Now hush.  There
are other things that can hear you besides me.  Let's not attract
their attention."

    That shut the bunny up, and Cheshire loaded her hutch on the
passenger side of the car up front.  She glanced around, made sure
that all was quiet, then followed Selma's scent back up to Cuz J's
apartment.  An examination of the lock showed it had been picked,
but that wouldn't serve her purposes.  Instead, she pounded on the
door authoritatively.

    It took a second pounding, then the door swung open to reveal
a pale fellow all frowsy with sleep.  "Huh?  What?"  he mumbled,
looking up and down what Cheshire knew, to him, was an empty
hallway.  She waited until his expression became completely
confused, then plunged the needle home in his neck.  He immediately
slumped forward, and Cheshire grunted under his weight.  With
effort, she managed to drag him back into the apartment and lay him
out on the floor.  Just for kicks, she folded his hands over his
chest in true nightcrawler fashion.  Bad joke, true, but she just
couldn't resist.

    She turned and surveyed the room then, looking for the other
"packages."  The laptop was easy to spot--and smell.  It
practically reeked of that blood-and-ancient-dust stench that
*always* accompanied bloodsuckers and their belongings.  However,
this scent was *just* a tad different, so Cheshire knew it had to
belong to the black cat of the Toronto bloodsucker family, Nick
Knight, the "Dark Policeman."  She unplugged all the whatchama-
dohickeys Cuz J had on it, folded it up, tucked it under her arm,
and took another look around the room.

    Five off-white mail sacks sat almost sullenly behind the open
apartment door.  Cheshire's shoulders sagged as she stared at them.
"Paper packages," she muttered.  "Dammit, Sidney--you could have
told me how much these 'paper packages' were going to weigh!"

    Chewing her lower lip, she thought a moment, then paced over to
the windows.  She threw up the dark shade, then checked the locks.
Ah, good--they *did* unlock.  She eyed unconscious Cuz J, thinking
that he probably kept them well oiled to let in the Big Flea.
Sniggering, Cheshire unlocked the window and took a peek as to
where the rental car was parked relative to the apartment building.
Pasht was smiling on her:  the car was close, but not too close.
It would work.

    She put the laptop down on the coffee table in the living room,
and proceeded to wrestle the five weighty mail sacks to the window,
up to the sill, and out.  The first one went well, and made a
satisfying "whomp" as it hit the pavement below.  By the third,
though, she was strongly wishing she had brought Panther with
her--she definitely could have used the Feral's strength.  As it
was, she managed to get all five sacks out the window without,
praise be to Pasht, receiving a hernia for her troubles.  After all
that, getting them into the rental car's trunk should be a piece of

    Before she left the apartment, she tucked the laptop under her
left arm once more, then took the small can of spray paint out of
her sweats' pocket.  Grinning like her namesake of Wonderland, she
sprayed the following message on the inside of the apartment door:

                       Amen-Ra blazes fire upon you!
                   Burn, servant of Nightcrawlers, burn!

She finished the mark off with the cartouche of Amen-Ra, Pasht, and
a stylized paw print.  Satisfied with her handiwork, Cheshire ran
hot-foot down to the car, heaved the mail sacks into the trunk, and
slid behind the wheel.

    As she turned the engine over, she allowed herself to slip back
to visibility.  Next to her, the rabbit started.  Cheshire grinned
at her, then pulled the rental out onto the streets.

    {Go home, now?}

    "Yer darn tootin', bunny-britches.  Just give me directions."

    It was the first time she had ever seen a rabbit smile...

     /\ /\
     ^o o^     D.K. "Cat" Kraft
     ->T<-     cat@e.......

Date:         Thu, 7 Jul 1994 00:44:04 EDT
From: Sharon Himmanen <SHIHC@c.......>
Subject:      FK Wars2: Bang the Drum Slowly

Bang the Drum Slowly
Sharon Himmanen

From: selmamc@a.......
Subj: The Virus

This is hoping this gets through....

I think that someone is trying to discredit Brian and I think I
know who...

I also have a plan.



"No, no, NO!"  Sharon nearly screamed in frustration as she read
Selma's email.  "Blast these Knighties AND their patron!"  Now
Selma had gone off half-cocked on some crazy scheme and no one had
any idea where she'd gone or who she'd gone after!

"So much for communication," Sharon said to nobody in particular.
She moved to the next message.

From:  pinax5@g.......
Subject: NatPack


Sharon H., Valerie, what's going on?  The NatPack has been awfully
quiet in the midst of all these bunny-nappings and Barney jokes.
What's the grand plan?

I don't know if I appeared on your list of Natalie's supporters.
I never got Laurie's message about declaring affiliations, so I
don't know if the Cousins even know I exist.  They seem to have
their sources, though.  I got an incomprehensible message last
night from Laurie responding to a message I started but never sent.
Weird, huh?  I'm using an old common departmental account until I
can get the security on my own account checked out.

Anyway, Sharon H., if you're organizing the NatPack, count me in.
In fact, I have an idea I'd like to run by you...



Well, that looked promising.  She hit the reply button.

From:  Sharon Himmanen <shihc@c.......>
Subj:  Re: NatPack
Good to hear from you.  At the moment I'm going insane trying to
get the Knighties together.  Selma has gone off on her own without
telling anyone what she's up to or where's she gone to.
Frustrating--they're so like Nick in that respect, rushing off on
some half-baked crusade.  I don't know how Nat puts up with it.

Valerie is busy with her various therapies.  They seem to be
working--Sharon Scott was actually able to wear the shirt.

The plan as it stands now is to be backup for the Knighties should
they need it.  LaCroix and his cousins seem to be targeting the
Knighties (are we surprised by this) so I think they'll need the
help.  Brian Gerstel could use a hand right about now I think.
Selma seemed to think he was in trouble.

I found myself wondering about this whole mess this evening.  What
could LaCroix possibly want with the database?  I mean, what
possible use could it be to him?  *He* knows who *his* followers
are.  Nick has some prominent followers on the list.  All of us who
aren't cousins are targets by default.  I'm beginning to wonder if
this whole mail/database thing isn't some kind of red herring for
something larger.  Maybe there was something else on Nick's hard
drive.  Maybe all this has very little to do with the mail or the
database.  Something is bothering me--the cousins are behaving much
too reticent, it seems to me (although I'm sure Brian would

Anyway, you mention an idea you want to run by us.  Fire away!

Sharon Himmanen

Sharon pulled up Selma's note again and read it over carefully.
Computer virus?  Two names popped into her head immediately--Larry
Merlin and John Dencoff.  Shaking her head, she immediately ruled
out Larry.  He had a certain flair, a certain artistry.  While a
computer virus was certainly within his capabilities, she could
only see him doing something like that as a security precaution.
If he wanted to use the computer to "get at" someone, you can bet
it would be an elaborate scheme.

But she could easily see a cousin twisting that precaution and
unleashing it upon a group of hapless Knighties!

And that meant that John had been a bad boy.

* * * * *

John leaned over the sink retching out the last of the undiluted
Ribena that loathsome NatPacker had left for him.  Of course he'd
been a fool to drink it, but it was still her fault!

It had been a bad day.  First the virus Merlin had concocted on
Nick's laptop, then the Barneyburgers.  Someone broke into his
home, stole his computer disks and that damn rabbit.  And now this!
Green protein shakes and Ribena!

Sleep, that's what he needed.  He was almost glad the rabbit was
gone--sheesh was that thing noisy!

* * *

With a small cry John jerked awake, his heart pounding in his
chest.  He'd been dreaming about rabbits, big furry horrible
rabbits that made lots of noise and . . .

He sat bolt upright--what was that tapping noise?  Hazel was gone.
Someone had taken her away earlier this evening.

tap . . . tap . . . tap . . .

At first he heard single tapping, but it was soon joined by another
and another and another until the house was filled with tapping

"What the hell?" John growled, flinging the covers off in
frustration and heading for the living room.  The tapping was
getting louder and louder by the second.

He swung the bedroom door open and stopped dead in his tracks.

They were on every flat surface of his apartment, the floor, the
tables, the bookshelves, the TV, the computer.  They were
everywhere.  They marched back and forth, banging incessantly on
their little drums.

His home was filled with Energizer bunnies.

And more were coming in the windows, dropping onto the floor and
resuming their monotonous march.

bang . . . bang . . . bang . . .

John staggered backwards.  This was some surreal nightmare, he
thought to himself as he moved back into the bedroom without

But they were here too.  John stepped on one and felt a brief
moment of satisfaction as he heard it crunch beneath his foot.  But
another slammed into his ankle, catching it just right and he
yelped in pain.  Instinctively he clutched his foot, hopping
around.  This, of course, proved to be a huge mistake as he landed
on another one.  But now there was no time to gloat--he landed flat
on his back and suddenly there were bunnies all over him.  They
marched up and down his legs, across his abdomen.  They trampled on
his face cutting off his cries for help.  They just kept going and
going and going . . .

| Sharon Himmanen | shihc@c....... * romana@a.......
| Nat Pack        |        s.himmanen@g.......


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Knight graphics and parchment background created by Melissa Snell and may be found at http://historymedren.about.com/