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Chapter 18: Shapes in the Shadows
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Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 7:04 pm    Post subject: Chapter 18: Shapes in the Shadows  



What has gone before (click for a complete summary of the story): Betrayed and nearly killed in the defense of your sacred mountain, you, Masakati, the Queen of the Scorpion People, found yourself lying cold and naked in a strange cave, with the only other resident a young boy. The boy told you that you were here in the Coils of the Serpent because your body was poised between life and death. He also told you that he was the goddess Venus, and that he and others were working to free the World Serpent from its bonds to bring about the end of your world, the Wheel. He asked you to join them instead of returning to your body above.

Last decision: Confront the boy, trying to find out if he's hiding something.

The boy seems like he's hiding something. You decide to press him. "How do I know you're telling the truth?"

"Beauty is Truth, and Truth Beauty, the Makers say. Am I not beautiful?" He tosses his golden curls and smiles up at you.

You scowl. "That's not an answer. What are you hiding?"

"Am I a prophet that I should give you answers? I am Venus, the goddess of love. Mystery is my domain."

This was going nowhere. "If you're really Venus, why do you look like a boy?"

The boy smiles again: "Oh, I have many forms." He seems to shimmer and blur in the candlelight, and when you look again, there stands a woman of perfect symmetry and beauty, smooth-skinned and fair, with waist-long brown curls and sparkling green eyes. She is dressed in silk with the scent of perfume, and her fine limbs are adorned with gold and jewels. She moves toward you with a languid grace, as though performing a dance. "Do you prefer me this way, Masakati?" she teases. "Do you like women?"

You say nothing, and she laughs and shimmers again. Now in front of you is a man, tall and handsome, with broad shoulders and a commanding face. He is dressed in kingly robes and a jeweled crown rests in his hair. His face shines with youthful beauty and wisdom beyond his years: he is a good king, strong and just.

"Or is this what you want?" asks the man. "A king to match your queenship, a man your equal, someone to share the burden of command? Is that your heart's desire?"

You have never seen a man of your race before, and it unsettles you, making you think of things you had never thought possible. But you dislike being manipulated. You say nothing.

"No?" Venus laughs again, a hearty, full-throated laugh that echoes in the caves. "No, you're too independent for that. But I know what you do want." He shimmers again and in the place of the man is a huge serpent, its body thick as a man's torso, covered in rainbow-colored scales that change color in the flickering light. The serpent coils itself upon the cave floor, moving with as much grace and beauty as Venus's other forms. And it speaks to you in a strange, hissing voice:

"When a scorpion is killed, with its last breath it will sting its killer, and the two will go to death together. Thus scorpions teach the world to fear them.

"You are a Maker, an evil race, but as Queen of the Scorpion People, you are also a Scorpion. And in a Scorpion's heart, no flame burns brighter than revenge."

As the serpent speaks, there is movement in the recesses of the cavern. Others are coming forth from the dark tunnels leading into the Coils, many shapes too far in the shadows to see.

"For two thousand years the Emperor has betrayed your people. He promised you a kingdom of your own, with one-twelfth of the Wheel. But he broke your royal line, and took your land, and sent the Centaur and the Zigot against you. And now the Zigots despoil your holy places, and by the schemes of the Emperor you are betrayed by your own people."

The shapes in the shadows come forward, crawling and slithering: dozens of serpents of different types and sizes. Some have wide bodies with legs and claws or wings, others are long and slender like snakes, with smooth scales and no limbs. Many, strangely enough, have no heads, only a large maw of a mouth where their necks end. You find it hard to look at the headless ones.

"This is your chance to strike back, Masakati. Before the Wheel turns three times we will rise, and the World Serpent rise with us, and put an end to the Emperor and his world. Isn't that what you desire, to ride the back of the Serpent to the sky, and see your enemies humbled below you? Join us, and we will give you that." The eyes of Venus burn bright, as the boy's eyes did when he made the same request. The serpents make a circle around you.

"And what about the ones still on the Wheel?" you ask. "You're asking me to help you bring about the death of millions, including my own people."

Venus hisses angrily. "Your people are dead already! The Emperor's heel comes down on them, and he will leave none alive. But you can sting him yet."

Venus glares at you, waiting for your reply. You are in a dark cave, surrounded by serpents. Light is coming from only two sources: a small candle lying on a rock next to Venus, and a pool to your side, in which the Earth and stars can be seen and which Venus the boy claimed led to the void. As far as you know, the path back to your body remains the same: up into the cavern you first came in and into the pool. There are serpents blocking that path now.

What do you do?

(Anyone is welcome to post a suggestion).
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Araex
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Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:21 pm    Post subject: join them  

i still say join them agen
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Guest
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Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:09 pm    Post subject:  

REVENGE!!! :evil: MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :twisted:
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Onate
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Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 3:14 pm    Post subject:  

yeah what he said. :wink:
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Destiny marie Sena
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Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:15 pm    Post subject:  

I think that you should join them, but ask if there is any way that they can spare or save your people.
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bloodyblitzer
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Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 7:03 am    Post subject:  

Ask what the consiquences are. i mean there has to be something he wants in return. Join him hesitentally and coincide with him and try to save you people while overcoming the ruthless ruler.
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Avalalatsleb
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Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:36 pm    Post subject: Re: stand your ground  

You think, "Better to die a second death than to watch my people die, even at my own hands." Moving toward the cavern, serpents flare and hiss at you from all directions. Maintaining keen awareness of all their movements is helpful, they can see your ethereal spirit stand in courageous defiance of their venomous strikes.
This is a defining moment in your evolution, your mind opens to new sights as you see a slight movement in these creatures, an image of their thoughts, the pre-meditation of their motions. The power of this magic allows you to walk in the midst of them without being harmed. Just as you believe you will make it through to the cavern, Venus calls to you, "Wait".
Angry, You turn to face him, "You cannot ask me to join you in the destruction of my peoples!! I would rather Loki drive his dagger of mischief into my own skin and carve my bones into a lute than live to see this scheme come to fruit!!!"
The boys hair begins to grow and his limbs lengthen. A full breasted female stands before you now. Her hair, raven black and shimmering as a night sky, flows around her waist, animated as of its own will.
Encompassing her legs, they begin to grow, the hair seems to mat down against the enormity of her thighs. Bones bend, mucsles bulge, and flesh multiplies as if growing from some deep space worm hole in every pore of her tissue.
A coal black horse torso supports her milky human torso now, black wings spread strongly, four times her full body length, the stars twinkle among their feathers. "You'll not want to taste this second death alone."
Venus leaps up a small Graeiik with a silver shell like a tortoise streaks through the air to deliver a golden bow and guiver of arrows as her wings, quietly, without wind or sound, stand her gently next to you. "Go", she nods, "I'll follow you, Scorpion Queen, back in time...this time...to get time back."
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zïa
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Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:44 pm    Post subject:  

My people are dead. And so am I.

I think I will dive deep into the shimmering pool...
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Venue
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Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:35 pm    Post subject: Go forward  

I will join Venus and attack the $erpents that surrounds us, to clear the way ahead. From then on we can travel to our new destiny.


_____________________________________________

Strangeling the Serpents
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Photinia
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Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:52 pm    Post subject:  

:x

I will cut off the serpentīs tail.
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Mother Goose
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Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:45 am    Post subject:  

Joining Venus and the serpents to destroy the world for revenge may be momentarily satisfying but is not really an option - they will not hesitate to destroy you too, as soon as you are of no further use to them. And what is your power? You must have some force in you that they want. Perhaps you can make your way through them toward the outer pool, as Avalaletsleb suggests, or maybe the inner pool does not lead to annihilation as Venus claimed. But joining them, even hoping to outwit and use them, seems like a bad road to me. They are masters of deceit!
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Guest
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Posted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:41 pm    Post subject:  

Exactly MotherGoose! I see that they are deceptive. There is such a strong Judeo-Christian tone of the Eden Temptation to this. I have assumed that the same god of Eden in the book is the very same that is diefied in that latter portion. The Emporer may be scheming with good intent, Masakati, look inside yourself. You are a Scorpion yourself, perhaps, but does that mean you and a snake are friends. One's venom flows in it's tail, the other's in it's mouth.
How did you dream when Venus altered into a man of your race? Is there a dream of Love with such a being inside of you? Or is there remorse, or anger, or even fear? Maybe you are completely indifferent. Siddharta would encourage you to understand your capability of complete release. MAybe this dream may trigger a decision, to save your people, even die with your people, or to join this serpent and destroy your people.
Is Venus so un-trustworthy? Is it really Venus? Love's Pantheum? Ready to destroy your Holy Temples as TThe Emporer is being accused of? You may want to test this creature to see if Hades has not sent a false prophet to wage destructive war, using the most powerful weapon possible, the thing the target trusts the most.
I gotta go I've rambled much and Desire cries for more. If I wish to sound less ignorant of the more vivacious details relating this astoundingly intense story, Must Needs that I should venture a searching session of the previous chapters.
.......Amid a trouble, be thankful of good news.
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Avalalatsleb
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Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:06 am    Post subject: Forgot to sign in.  

Anonymous wrote: Exactly MotherGoose! I see that they are deceptive. There is such a strong Judeo-Christian tone of the Eden Temptation to this. I have assumed that the same god of Eden in the book is the very same that is diefied in that latter portion. The Emporer may be scheming with good intent, Masakati, look inside yourself. You are a Scorpion yourself, perhaps, but does that mean you and a snake are friends. One's venom flows in it's tail, the other's in it's mouth.
How did you dream when Venus altered into a man of your race? Is there a dream of Love with such a being inside of you? Or is there remorse, or anger, or even fear? Maybe you are completely indifferent. Siddharta would encourage you to understand your capability of complete release. MAybe this dream may trigger a decision, to save your people, even die with your people, or to join this serpent and destroy your people.
Is Venus so un-trustworthy? Is it really Venus? Love's Pantheum? Ready to destroy your Holy Temples as TThe Emporer is being accused of? You may want to test this creature to see if Hades has not sent a false prophet to wage destructive war, using the most powerful weapon possible, the thing the target trusts the most.
I gotta go I've rambled much and Desire cries for more. If I wish to sound less ignorant of the more vivacious details relating this astoundingly intense story, Must Needs that I should venture a searching session of the previous chapters.
.......Amid a trouble, be thankful of good news.
An-anonomously: Avala
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Avalalatsleb
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Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:38 am    Post subject: continuance....  

[
As deceptive as this serpent may be, you may have to lose your life in order to gain it. Perhaps it is a test of the gods, or a way to develope a magical power, or the Father God showing you how strongly you really feel about your people. After all, Passion is Power.

As I read chapter 17 I was thinking that as you leap into the void, or the pool, instead of losing your life you gain it, and the love of the dieties along with it. What ruler would not die before allowing their peoples destroyed? (Many. As Tarmemto may allow, you may see these. Deities would support you in the salvation of your people, even those who would fear death before. And they may be Great allies.)

I hope I'm not sorry for continually jumping into this, I thank Kvneay for being so welcoming. THis is a really great story. I haven't had time to read all of it yet, I have to go do some work now so I can break bread.

Don't be afraid, Masakati, The Ancient Makers are with you.
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Creepblade
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Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 10:00 am    Post subject:  

The serpents cannot be trusted unless there is no other option. But I don't think that I would jump into the void without knowing for certain what would happen. In agreement with Avalalatsleb, I would die rather than allow my kingdom destroyed.
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DeadRose2008
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Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:36 pm    Post subject:  

Ahhhhhhh! I Forgot wat to say!!!! AHHHHHHH!!! :x :cry: :evil: :? [/quote]
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Creepblade
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Posted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 1:00 pm    Post subject:  

...
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Guest
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Posted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:04 pm    Post subject:  

I say you try and rush past the serpents. What I think this sounds like is a trap. Many of times have I heard of a god or goddess trying to trick humans into doing what is "right", while all the while, getting them to do their bidding.
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Creepblade
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Posted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:26 pm    Post subject:  

Agreed, however, what chance do you think that you would have trying to get past so many serpents surrounding you?
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Creepblade
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Posted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:30 pm    Post subject:  

What of the candle? Goddesses dont need light to see, especially serpent-gods. Maybe if I threw it into the pool...
Just a thought.
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vikingthor10
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Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:38 am    Post subject:  

throw venus in pool and then ........|
|
|
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\/
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vikingthor10
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Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:42 am    Post subject:  

I would take the candle and burn the serpants tails so through all the hectic matters I would be able to escape :shock: FIRE
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Guest
Guest





Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 10:31 am    Post subject:  

It's a catch 22. Jump into the pool that way you don't betray your people and don't enrage the goddess.
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kenshin himura
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Joined: 10 Mar 2004
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Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:14 pm    Post subject:  

yes this is a very vexing situation, I just hope that the queen
keeps her cool and thinks of every posibility that can/will/or might not
so what do i think that she should do?
well i think that she should jump into the pool with her world in it and go see if the emperer is indeed ploting to destroy your, and every one elses
people.


god speed your highness!!!!!!
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Guest
Guest





Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:02 pm    Post subject: Re: join temporarily  

[quote="Araex"] I will join them....for now, MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! :twisted: Quote:
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Guest2
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Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:04 pm    Post subject:  

I think that it is important to remember that the plot of this story depends on the white goddess acting as the redeemer of her people. She has already received help from witches based on this premise. If she betrays her people, the story is over. No one will care what happens to her after that. It may happen that leaders betray their people in real life, but this is a myth or fable. It does has overtones of the temptation of Eve by the serpent in Eden. After the downfall of Eve and the loss of Eden for humanity, Eve's life is merely described as painful and hard. That was the end of Eve.
The imagery is important in this story. Water is usually symbolic of spirituality or rebirth (baptism). Since it also reflects the sky, it might be magical, a portal to another reality. Think of Alice and the looking glass. Since the white goddess does not have her body with her, I am not sure that she could drown. In any case, I think the story will end if she betrays her people.
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lucifer
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Posted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 2:31 am    Post subject: attack  

i say attack everything that moves "you will die if you dont let me past you mova f****rs" then thats what happens okay
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aljernon805
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Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:09 pm    Post subject:  

Guest2 wrote: I think that it is important to remember that the plot of this story depends on the white goddess acting as the redeemer of her people. She has already received help from witches based on this premise. If she betrays her people, the story is over. No one will care what happens to her after that. It may happen that leaders betray their people in real life, but this is a myth or fable. It does has overtones of the temptation of Eve by the serpent in Eden. After the downfall of Eve and the loss of Eden for humanity, Eve's life is merely described as painful and hard. That was the end of Eve.
The imagery is important in this story. Water is usually symbolic of spirituality or rebirth (baptism). Since it also reflects the sky, it might be magical, a portal to another reality. Think of Alice and the looking glass. Since the white goddess does not have her body with her, I am not sure that she could drown. In any case, I think the story will end if she betrays her people.
actually, i dont think eve was tricked, nor that eden was intended for humanity at that time. the serpent was the only one tricked. i agree that her life was hard and often painful, but she did rejoice and give thanks for it.
however, i agree with you about the white queen. it does seem that her whole reason for being was her people. still, she could intend to save them and make a mistake that costs her the thing she wants most.
i think she needs to ask herself if this reality.
maybe it is not reality, does she make her own choices?
if isnt reality almost any dicision will be right or wrong but no decision will always be wrong.
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Guest2
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Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 8:22 pm    Post subject:  

I wasn't making an ethical case out of Eve, just commenting on the elements of a good story. If the purpose or plot of this story is how the white queen saved her people, once she decides that she doesn't care to save her people, the story is over. It just isn't very interesting anymore. The white queen is the heroine of this story, and readers should care about whether she saves her people and how it happens. That is what makes the story interesting. If she isn't going to save people, who really cares about what happens to her. That is not a moral judgment, just a principle of writing fiction.
I was only pointing out the probable result of having the white queen give up on her people. The story might be continued, but there would be little coherence, and it probably wouldn't be very interesting to read. No one would be able to figure out the point of the story. If there is another hero or some other plot to this story, I am not sure what it is.
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Creepblade
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Posted: Thu May 06, 2004 2:52 am    Post subject:  

Joining the serpents and asking to save the people would be the most cowardly act I have ever done.
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arralyn_daeron
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Posted: Thu May 06, 2004 11:14 pm    Post subject:  

Well, the most action would be gotten out of fighting off the serpents. Revenge sounds good. But the sensible thing says not to trust Venus.
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Mother Goose
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Posted: Fri May 07, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject:  

Will you destroy the whole world for revenge on the one who betrayed you, hoping to take your throne? I agree, the story will be over if Masakati joins the serpents against her own race and people! And what knd of life can she expect after the world she knows is gone? Will the serpents love and honor her?

Maybe there is a hope that she can use and outwit them, but I doubt she is a match for serpents and gods in treachery.
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Key
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Joined: 08 Feb 2004
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Location: The Royal Palace

Posted: Sat May 08, 2004 8:05 pm    Post subject: Voting ending soon  

Thanks to everyone for the great posts and discussion.

Voting is coming to an end soon, and it looks like two choices are running nearly tied, so I suggest that anyone who hasn't voted yet do so now...you could swing it one way or the other.
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Idea champ
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Posted: Mon May 10, 2004 8:05 am    Post subject: Then what?  

:idea: What if you summoned the sisters to help you fight your way out? If you destroy them, you're saving your world. What if you complete what they started after that? Wouldn't you have the world snake on your side, to fight your foes?

Just wondering...
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Guest
Guest





Posted: Mon May 10, 2004 8:09 am    Post subject:  

try to go back to your body... screw the snakes... sweet sayings slither of the slipperty snake's slimy tongue. =p
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