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    [CAMP-05] VJSA-01 Seldom is Herd

    Stampede Advanced
    [CAMP-05] VJSA-01 Seldom is Herd
    By Veronica June (The Marksman)
    May 11th, 2016


    Starring:
    Rodney Rivers, male human teenager, protagonist
    -- becomes Rodney Riverdale, Clydesdale Warrior


    The Equus Prime Fellowship:
    Johnathan Hoofmeyer, Shining Knight
    Merrimack Shyremane, Shining Knight
    Lamont Kloppenhauser, Sage
    MacGregor Mondendale, Shining Knight

    Big Z, Stampede Chief Programmer


    Enemies:
    Arighus, Pegasaurus Dark Knight


    Chapter One: Game Canceled; Thanks For Playing.

    Tannersville, Virginia; Rivers Home; Late 1999; Planet Earth.

    "Stampede is one of the best games I have ever played," said the wheelchair confined teen aged human male to a few of the other online players. "It has all of the right elements to keep us players interested, involved and working together to solve problems. I cannot wait to see what they add to the next update."

    Rodney Rivers was a Sagittarius with black hair, green eyes and dark brown skin. He wore a silver stud in his left ear. He was five foot eleven inches tall and weighed at about one hundred fifty six pounds. Before the accident which left him crippled in a wheelchair, Rodney was interested in the knighthood, horse back riding, fencing, acrobatics and literature. After the accident, outdoor activities were all but impossible since he needed help to maneuver his home property.

    The Stampede MMO game was one of the best games he had found for sale at the local hobby shop. It had all the elements he really liked. Of course you played an anthropomorphic armor wearing stallion in the alien world of Equus Prime. Rodney had one of the earliest versions of a stand alone server that he sometimes used for hosting ORPGs with various online friends. He would only have to share the log-in link with them then they could click the link, sign in and access their characters.

    As he was about to save his progress and log out, a strange message flashed across his screen. It read: Hey Rodney. I need to use that private server of yours. Click this link to begin the download of the gaming engine for tomorrow's update. You will be doing every player in the game a huge favor. Be warned, this is a huge twenty-three hour download. If you do not download the gaming engine, I will assume that your claims of loving this game were a lie. Signed, Big Z; Chief Stampede Programmer. Rodney whom was obviously on a government dial-up connection thanks to his father's access knew that his father wouldn't be home for three days; thus he figured that he had time to download this gaming engine for Big Z. He hooked up the jump cable from his computer to the server tower and he clicked the download link. Then a follow-up message read: Thanks Rodney. You are a real pal. I will contact you by phone in twenty-five hours. I cannot do this without your help. Signed, Big Z; Chief Stampede Programmer.

    Rodney had never heard of the programmers of this game relying on game players for help with anything; let alone the entire game's world engine. A twenty-three hour download had to mean that he was downloading the entire game database, characters, the world and all. Again, he had never heard of the game's programmers relying on the players for something this important in his life. Not to mention, very few online players knew that he had a private server. And Big Z was not one of those guys on the list of trusted players. But somehow he knew that Rodney owned a private server. So now it was the waiting game.

    Leaving the connection open to complete the download, Rodney went and had dinner before heading off to bed to sleep for the night.

    Late into the next morning, Rodney awoke to the sound of his multi-line telephone ringing. Thankfully it was a call over line one. He answered the phone slowly. "Rodney speaking." On the other end of the call was someone he knew of from a town some fifty miles away. Rodney! There is a news report on TV about the company that owns Stampede! They said they were about to discontinue every MMO game they have running in preparation for that silly Y2K bug thing! I hope this is a bogus news report! I rely on that game to talk to my online friends which includes you!" Rodney replied, "Don't worry, Jack. Big Z is having me help him with something Stampede related. He never mentioned the company about to do something stupid like this."

    After hanging up the phone, Rodney carefully got into his blue jeans and tee shirt before moving himself off of the bed and into his wheelchair. Once he was securely in his seat on wheels, he rolled himself into the other room where his computer and server were set up. He looked at the download connection and saw that it was no longer running. When he brought the monitor out of sleep mode, he saw the message on screen which read: Download Complete. Another message read: Would you like to process the installation file? YES or no. The word yes was in all caps while the word no was all lower case. Another message read: Once installed, your Stampede character log-in will work with this world database engine.

    After quickly resetting the modem to clear the router line of open line left over garbage data, Rodney clicked on the word YES to begin the installation on his private gaming server. As he sat back and watched the percentage bar count its way up toward one hundred percent. The phone rang once again. Reaching over, he picked up the receiver. "Rodney speaking." This time on the other end of the line was a voice he did not know. Rodney? Where do you live? This is Big Z. I tried to find out where you lived this morning and I encountered a powerful government firewall. And no, I am not built like a football line backer; I am actually a small guy. Rodney was hesitant to give out his home data to someone he barely knew. "Security question: Tell me something about my character that anyone would know and something about his profile that only the programmers would know."

    Big Z paused for a moment before replying, You play a large Clydesdale Warrior which is ironic because on your account security question of Name Something Unusual About Yourself, you wrote out that you were in a wheelchair. Only we programmers can see what you put down as the answer to your security question. After hearing Big Z's response, Rodney gave out his home address, and he was barely finished when the game's movie began to play in the background. Big Z stated, You can watch the all-new movie for the game but please do not log-in until after I get there. I need to unlock a trap I set in the program to prevent tampering.

    Rodney then hung up the phone as he focused on the new full-color movie. The graphics were something else; the 3-D polygons blew Rodney away. No one had anything like this as yet. In times past, Equus Prime was a rich and fertile land ruled over by just and kind kings and lords. But then the evil Pegasaurus Dark Knight, Lord Arighus, came into the land with his army of monsters. Overnight, the once safe adventuring lands became a treacherous path to walk let alone to prove oneself within. The call has gone out to heroes from the previous age to come forth to clear up the land and make it safe for the common equines once again. Meet with new equines both old and new as they vie for greatness against the wicked lord of the sky. Explore new lands and forge a new fellowship as you discover advanced skills and powers. Come and join the great ones in the all-new world of Stampede Advanced! The music was totally unlike anything the old Stampede had before it. It was like being in the middle of a major motion picture.

    Just then, the movie image changed and he saw Lord Arighus the Pegasaurus Dark Knight looking directly at him from the monitor itself. "Who knew? You really are in a wheelchair. But all the same, warrior, I look forward toward seeing what challenges you present to me when you come after me in this world that I have taken over. Do you have the courage to accept my challenge, Rodney? Or was all your bravado in the old game simply for show? I await your arrival in Newbury Fields. Come if you dare..."

    End of Chapter One
    "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
    ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

    #2
    Chapter Two

    When the video game character addressed him by name, he quickly shoved his wheelchair away from the computer desk as he stared at it in disbelief. "How in the Hell did they get my name into the game?"

    Arighus smiled as he remarked in a matter of factual manner, "I am simply reading it off of your 'First Name' line in the registration form you had to submit to join this game. You better be glad that Big Z took the customer records at the same time he bought the games from that foolish company. Y2K Bug... What a hoax!"

    Rodney wasn't convinced. "How did you know I was in a wheelchair. I do not have a web camera so you cannot possibly see what condition I am in."

    Arighus replied, "Oh but I can see you, Rodney. I am a villain after all. Big Z programmed me a little too well. Here, let me show you something..." And as Arighus moved to one side the scene behind him changed to show the last location where Rodney's Clydesdale Warrior had been standing just before he last logged out. And the stallion was still standing in the exact same position he had been in before. Standing at the bar counter of the tavern he had entered after completing his last quest. "Behold... Rodney Riverdale, a Clydesdale Warrior from the village of Flashblade, in the Kingdom of Wildfeather."

    Rodney slowly wheeled his chair back over closer to the monitor once again. "Wow... the new character graphics make my character even more awesome than I dreamed he could be." Forgetting that he wasn't logged in, he placed his hand on the mouse and he tried to move the picture around to see his character from the front side. Of course the scene did move thanks to Arighus' involvement. "He still has the black-eye that the game said that the brigand leader gave him during the quest."

    Arighus stated, "Of course with your high Endurance, that bruise will regenerate within twelve game hours and then he will once again be his handsome... and in my opinion, sexy... self once again. Good old Rodney is simply relaxing while waiting for a meal he ordered before looking into the next quest in his quest journal. And my oh my... you have quite a few in there. What is this mention of a white fluff glitch?"

    Rodney grinned at that point. "Why don't you head on over to the tribal kingdom of Farpoint and just walk into their zone without their permission and when one of the natives challenges you to a fight, the glitch will begin? If you somehow manage to win the fight without assistance, meaning you cannot call your minions to help you, then you can do what I could not accomplish with that stupid glitch. That damned thing made me fail to complete the Princess' Errands quest line where one of the quest items is within that zone. I had to move on to a less stressful zone that was higher level than my character was ready for. And even then, the encounters in there could not compare to the fluff glitch because I won every single encounter with hardly any problems whatsoever."

    Arighus stuck one hand into his belt pouch and he pulled out a golden coin which he flicked directly at the monitor, meaning directly toward where the real Rodney was seated. "Catch!" And then he departed from the tavern.

    In the real world without warning, the gold coin emerged from the monitor making the wheelchair bound human instinctively raise his left hand up to catch the magical coin. The moment his hand made contact with the coin, the entire room filled with the light of fantasy as the monitor took on the appearance of a black hole with magical stars spinning around it. Instinctively with his right hand, he grabbed a hold of one arm of the wheelchair which lifted into the air at the same time he did and then... he had the sensation of being sucked head first into the black hole. The flight was short but swift as he felt himself slam into what felt like a bar counter directly in front of him while his one hand seemed to be tightly gripping what felt like the handle of a sword.

    Village of Braveherd, Kingdom of Blacksword; Trotsworth Tavern; Late 999; Continent of Stampede, Planet Equus Prime.

    At that moment, a Percheron-Shire mix emerged from the kitchen and set a platter of food down on the counter. "Calm down, Riverdale. I humbly apologize for being late with your meal. There is no need to use that sword of yours here in the village."

    When Rodney slowly opened his eyes, he saw the tavern keeper standing on the other side of the counter looking worried. "Trotsworth? What happened? Where am I?" He then noticed that he was holding his character's warrior sword in his hand instead of the wheelchair he had been gripping moments before. "Oh right... let us see if I remember how to put this away without cutting my own head off." And he focused on the TV cartoon of He-Man as he made the motion to place the sword back into the scabbard on his back. "That wasn't so hard." Now he was looking at his hands followed by his looking down the front of his body at the rest of his character's form and in that instant it was apparent that he was inside of his own character. "Stupid Pegasus. What has he done to me?" Then he lifted his head and shouted toward the ceiling, "Big Z! Help! I am stuck in the game!"

    Trotsworth then came around the bar counter and placed one hand on the Clydesdale's shoulder. "Calm down, Riverdale. While I do not know whom this Big Z is, you do need to eat your meal before it gets cold. You did order it and you already paid for it. Let me get you your drink." And he went back around the counter to get Rodney his drink.

    Rodney then said, "You don't understand, Trotsworth. I am a Player from the real world. I'm not supposed to be able to enter the game like this."

    Trotsworth set the mug of ale down on the counter. "I am going to go fetch the town healer. You took a powerful blow to the face when that brigand leader punched you earlier. This crazy talk is probably simply your mind playing tricks on you during your healing phase." And he headed out of the tavern to go fetch the village healer.

    Rodney sighed as he looked at his meal. "The only way I am going to get out of this is to pretend to be Riverdale publicly and privately ask the sages for information on Big Z. Someone has to know about him other than Arighus. Might as well see what this food tastes like. I am a little hungry." And he proceeded to try the food that his character ordered for himself earlier. "Hey, this isn't bad." Then he took a drink of the 'ale'. "Apple cider. Yummy."

    As he dined, back on Earth, Big Z arrived at Rodney's home to find the door open and the computer screen in the on position still showing the scene in progress.

    End of Chapter Two
    "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
    ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

    Comment


      #3
      Chapter Three

      Rodney as Riverdale quietly said, "I hope Big Z arrives at my house soon. That damned Arighus is going to pay for getting me stuck inside my character."

      Big Z quickly went over to the computer when he heard Riverdale say those words on the screen. "Did he use the magic coin or a magic wand, Rodney?"

      Rodney lifted his Clydesdale head toward the source of Big Z's voice. "He used a golden coin but after I arrived here, I don't know where the coin went. And worse, Trotsworth thinks my mind is still addled from the brigand strike from the last time I played. He went to get the village healer to look over my character's injury. I tried to tell him that I was a Player and I think that was a mistake."

      Big Z replied, "The NPCs in Stampede don't know the term Player like we do, Rodney. For now, you need to be your character and stay out of as many fights as you can. Your character knew how to use his equipment; you don't. Where is Arighus anyway? It isn't like him to just bring a victim into a trap and then just leave."

      Rodney grinned again. "He peaked into my quest journal and he saw the mention of the white fluff glitch in Farpoint. So I challenged him to go there and see if he could win one battle despite the glitch being in place. Before he left to go do that, he flicked the gold coin at me and then next thing I knew, this black hole sucked me and my wheelchair into the game although my wheelchair also disappeared; just like the coin did. You mean Arighus was the anti-tampering trap? Because if he was, then you need to know that he activated right at the end of the new movie sequence. I didn't even have to try to log-in."

      Big Z hummed for a moment. "Another glitch I need to fix before the grand opening. But first, I need to focus on getting you out of the game. I just hope there aren't any side effects due to your going into the game world."

      Rodney replied, "Then you need to do this in less than two days. My dad comes home in two days and if I am not there in my wheelchair he will go ballistic. I need to shut up for a while because I hear Trotsworth coming back now." And he lowered his head just in time as the tavern keeper came into the tavern with a customer who dressed like a Sage.

      Trotsworth said, "Here we are; even though I think you need to have the village healer check you out, Riverdale, she is out collecting herbal ingredients for now. But Sage Lamont Kloppenhauser has agreed to look you over with his magical powers."

      Suddenly, Big Z said, "Hey Lamont! I didn't know you were in Riverdale's area! It's me; Zecma! I'm the one Riverdale and a few others refer to as Big Z!"

      Lamont then said, "Thank the stars; when Trotsworth mentioned the nickname of Big Z like he did, you were the only one I could think of being related to that name. How does Riverdale know of the Information Devil Mouse Services? He isn't a mage... is he?"

      Zecma then replied, "Trotsworth, I think we can pass on the village healer for now. A friend of mine helped to plan Riverdale's birth in that world and when he used the words Player, real world, game and then he called out for me by my nickname, it was to signify that my friend got summoned into your world and he was magically merged into Riverdale's body by an evil winged stallion knight whom had been setting up a new kingdom on the other side of Grailscrag. Riverdale tricked this evil knight into leaving Blacksword which is why Trotsworth didn't see him when he came out of the kitchen with the meal."

      Trotsworth grinned at that point. "Tricked a force of evil, did you? Yes that could lead to magical tampering or a form of revenge within this world. Revenge is not unheard of in these parts. Grailscrag is one of the most dangerous realms in Stampede. Why set up a kingdom over there?"

      Zecma replied, "Privacy, why else? Okay Rodney, I am going to try a trick to see if this will help you with the current problem. First of all, I need to duplicate Riverdale's information papers... then I make changes to the new papers with your own personal information and finally, I label the new papers with the title of Integrity Inspector, meaning Moderator." Zecma the Devil Mouse got busy on doing that which meant he went quiet for a bit.

      Lamont then asked Riverdale, "What was your name back in your world and what were your interests? And what did you look like?"

      Rodney described himself first but when he mentioned being cripple and in a wheelchair which was a medical chair on wheels, both stallions in the room looked horrified. "This experience is the most mobility I have had since the accident. As for the rest, my real name is very close to Riverdale's name; I was called Rodney Rivers. My interests were the knighthood, horse back riding, fencing, acrobatics and literature. And before you object, in our world, stallions cannot stand on two legs and they kindly permit my people to ride them piggy back style for short periods of time. Horses are well taken care of in my world. My horse, Cannonball, likely hasn't seen me on my own two feet since the day of the accident. I would do anything for him."

      Lamont then said, "An interest in Literature indicates that you would be capable of learning magic. Acrobatics however is the rogues field of interest primarily. Why would a mage need to learn acrobatics? Let alone a warrior or a knight."

      Rodney remarked, "Let us say you have already used your last shield spell for the day and another mage attacks you with little warning. You do not have time to memorize another shield spell and you do not have one on a scroll. Acrobatics to the rescue. You can see what spell he is preparing and you could simply try to leap out of the way or... you could use your acrobatics to drop and roll toward your opponent which surprises him to interrupt his spell casting attempt and when you get almost point blank with him, you can either rap him with your staff or cast a spell directly up his body. In the case of a warrior, he could use acrobatics to make a somersault jump to place himself closer to an opponent for the sword strike or to land directly upon his foe; the force of the landing knocking his opponent prone on the ground without killing him."

      Zecma then said from his side, "A magic user with acrobatics may survive longer when he is caught without his spells at the ready. There in lies the wisdom. Good lesson, Rodney."

      End of Chapter Three
      "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
      ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

      Comment


        #4
        Chapter Four

        "I just encountered a slight problem with what I was attempting to do on this side, Rodney," said Zecma as he sounded somewhat frustrated. "If I pull you out of Riverdale right now, the very act would wipe your character out of existence. And I know how long you have been playing him and how much you care about him."

        Then at almost the same time, Lamont and Rodney both made the same suggestion. "What about a transformation trigger?" Lamont then said, "We set a magic upon Riverdale and Rodney so they can co-exist at the same time within the same time-space yet at different frequencies." Rodney continued the line of thought, "And when I needed to be on the topside, one transformation effect and I could do what I needed to do before handing the scene back to Riverdale. At least look into this possibility, Big Z. Two days, remember?"

        Zecma then replied, "Humans cannot exist on Equus Prime, Rodney, although their people could exist here on Earth. If I set this transformation trigger, your being a cripple will be a thing of the past. Transformation is often called by magic users the 'auto regeneration' spell. When you change your form into a new form and then you change back, you are literally healing your original body with a fully functional version of what you started with, say, before the accident."

        Rodney remarked, "That would surprise my dad for sure. Mom would be ecstatic. She had to go to work to help pay for my medical bills and my initial treatment. Magical healing would have solved a lot of issues. Having that accident, however, permitted me to learn about Stampede which I enjoy a lot."

        Trotsworth then stated, "I think Rodney should think about what profession he will want to be apart from Riverdale and then we can focus on getting him his own equipment for when he transforms into his normal identity. Riverdale's gear would likely pull Rodney to the ground which he likely doesn't want to go through again."

        Lamont then made another suggestion, "Suppose Zecma... you were to hire Rodney to come work for you at your place? Then Rodney could repay his parents for caring enough about him to pay for his medical expenses. Not to mention, Zecma could further study on how to eventually split Riverdale from Rodney without destroying the stallion warrior."

        Without warning, the Clydesdale warrior's head twitched and his voice changed for the moment. "I thank you for not wanting to destroy me, Rodney, but I just woke up from when you slammed into me from behind earlier. Arighus is a total bastard for merging you into me and then leaving you to deal with it by yourself. He has earned a powerful enemy this day. While I like to jest that I am powerful, I am also not stupid; I will need to gather a fellowship herd to help me combat against this menace to Stampede."

        Rodney then said in his own voice, "Welcome back to the waking world, Riverdale. As you likely heard, even though I like you very much, I should not be inside your body. Only you know how to use your armor and sword. Sadly, I have few local skills to call my own."

        Riverdale remarked, "If I took you on as my squire, I could educate you in the ways of this world. Although Blacksword is a bit of a powerful region to be teaching a new squire within. The enemies here play dirty and you might accidentally get us both killed. Zecma, I ask for a boon of transport between rightfully earned safety ports throughout Stampede. That way, I could easily take Rodney back to my home starting zone and educate him in a low powered region. Every inn and tavern where I have helped the keeper with some task could be added to this safety visitation list. And the same could be done with other players and their characters. Base it off of revealed map locales where the character has earned a tavern or inn keeper's trust. Those buildings become the safe teleportation zones once earned."

        Zecma thought about it before replying, "An excellent idea especially for those in a herd fellowship. My home workplace would be a low leveled safety teleportation zone for brief stop overs when needed between destinations. If Rodney worked and lived with me, then such a location would be ideal for him."

        Rodney then said, "I have to bring Cannonball with me. He is my responsibility. I don't want anyone to send him to a glue factory."

        Just then, Rodney's home telephone rang which almost made Zecma fly through the roof. Rodney said, "Answer it before the fifth ring or else people will think something is wrong. You do not want my dad coming home early and catching you there and my being gone."

        When the phone rang on the fourth time, Zecma picked up the receiver, "Rivers Residence; Rodney is in the bathroom." It was all he could think of telling whomever was on the other side of the call.

        The woman's voice said, "Are you one of Rodney's friends? This is Mrs. Rivers."

        Zecma replied, "Yes, er, I am Big Z, the chief programmer from Stampede. Rodney won an in-game contest where he gets to spend a day with me in his own home. I didn't expect to find him in a wheelchair. He is quite gifted, you know. He told me how great his parents were. Is there a message you would like me to forward to him?"

        Mrs. Rivers replied, "Just tell him that I will be home this evening by five P.M. I am bringing pizza, salad, and colas. His favorites, of course. Mr. Rivers came to my workplace and we will both be home by tonight. Rodney will be so surprised. We can't wait to meet you, Mr. Z. Tell Rodney we love him. Bye." And the call ended.

        Zecma slowly hung up the phone. "SHIT! We don't have two days anymore! Your parents will be here in a couple of hours! If I cannot get this solved by the time they get here, then the gig will be up!"

        Riverdale then said, "What about setting up a safe teleportation zone as a test in Rodney's home off in a room or out building that doesn't see much use? Then we focus on my using it to go to Earth and once there, you set up the transformation trigger on both me and Rodney so I can change back into his form."

        Rodney then said, "Make it Cannonball's tack room in the barn. Since my accident, no one has been in there in a while. We might be able to get a smithy set up in there as well so if any of the herd fellowship needs weapon or armor repairs, they can do it safely there without bothering anyone in the main house."

        End of Chapter Four
        "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
        ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

        Comment


          #5
          Chapter Five

          "Unlike some people with horses and such, I always kept my tack room clean," explained Rodney to the others.

          Zecma then said, "Lamont, you and Trotsworth find a place within the tavern to designate as a teleportation zone and then, Lamont, use this spell to mark that spot as a homing locale." Instantly a scroll appeared in Lamont's stallion hand.

          Lamont looked over the spell and said, "I have it, Zecma. Come on, Trotsworth; Let us get a room ready for this project." And then the two horses headed off into a back hallway that would normally lead to the back door which led to the outhouse behind the tavern.

          Zecma then said, "Riverdale, you keep Rodney in the tavern and watch the shop for Trotsworth in case someone else comes in. I need to head out to the barn and say hello to Cannonball before I handle the tack room arrival zone." And then it was quiet on Big Z's end.

          Riverdale went over to a stool where he could see his reflection in the mirror in the back. "Okay Rodney, how much of the Stampede world and rules do you remember?"

          Rodney replied, "A good chunk of it to be honest. I had to learn it in order to help you in your earlier quests within the village of Flashblade in the Kingdom of Wildfeather. Remember the day you were ready to head out to tame the world and how all of the villagers cheered your name?"

          Riverdale grinned. "That was a great day; so you do remember the game... likely better than I do. When we get you squared away, we will need to get you configured into being a good adventurer in Stampede. Since I am the blade master warrior in this world, what weapon would you like to master when we get you situated?"

          "How about the bamboo stick which could double as a bow shaft?" inquired Rodney with a smile.

          Riverdale chuckled. "Bamboo would be a good pole arm but bow shafts are usually made from willow branches and while the string is usually a taut leather cord. What about your profession? Any thoughts on that?"

          Rodney replied, "I was considering toward asking Zecma if I could custom create a profession for my own personal use. The full title would be something like Inspection Agent, but this could be shortened to either Detective or simply Agent. This profession would not be limited to a single weapon type nor just one style of armor. This could include spell usage, acrobatics like the rogue, healing abilities like the healers and monks as well as a mish-mash of different learned profession abilities and skills."

          Riverdale smiled at the thought. "Sounds like a winner, Rodney. A spell casting Warrior who could pick locks sounds like a good idea."

          Rodney chuckled. "You are too easily pleased sounds like."

          Zecma then spoke up once again. "Cannonball is a really nice stallion, Rodney. When I told him what was up, he said you always reminded him of worthy stallion albeit in human form. Anyway, the teleport arrival zone is set up within the tack room. We are just waiting on Lamont and Trotsworth now. That space was small but with a little creative Inter-Dimensional Spacing, I was able to expand the room and create the blacksmith forge and repair station exactly the way you suggested. The arrival square is in the back of the now larger chamber and is clearly marked in a large white square outline. I figured no one would question a square as opposed to a pentagram circle."

          Rodney smiled. "Great to hear. Riverdale and I were discussing an idea you might permit to Moderators like myself especially since I am stuck in this situation. The ability to customize a profession rather than to choose an existing one that limits my human capabilities in Stampede. Do you think you could permit me to inspect this new game feature. The customized profession is called Inspection Agent but this could be shortened to either Detective or simply Agent, for in game identification. In truth, it would be nothing more than a Moderator or Super Moderator where only you could override what we did in game. This profession would not be limited to a single weapon type nor just one style of armor as it could include spell usage (to please Lamont,) acrobatics like the rogue (as I suggested earlier,) healing abilities like the healers (for just in case emergencies) and monks (for weaponless self defense) as well as a mish-mash of different learned profession abilities and skills (that could benefit normal players.) Could you permit me this privilege, Zecma? Riverdale is already hyped over the idea."

          Zecma then said, "Bards already have a limited version of what you are asking for although you are suggesting to remove the limits for Mods and Super Mods. I think that could be permissible in this special case. The only other people I know of who have ever traveled into video games or digital worlds were Saban's VR Troopers, the Digimon casts, Captain N and the Game Masters and Kidd Video as well as the carpenter brothers Mario and Luigi whom later went on to become plumbers."

          Rodney perked one eye. "You mean like those guys living in the Quad Counties down in Northern Georgia?"

          Zecma replied, "Exactly them. In fact, my new corporate offices and factory is in Montropolis within that region located just South of Japanopolis and just North of Terryville on the Eastern most side of the Quad Counties. There is ample land and fields available there for riding a horse when you wanted to spend some special time with Cannonball. And no honking horns to upset your stallion so another accident cannot occur there."

          Lamont and Trotsworth returned at that moment as the tavern keeper said, "We have designated a nice side chamber in the back for the teleport arrival zone. My apologies for only having a square shape for the usage of such a location, Zecma. Circular rooms are simply not to be had in these parts."

          Zecma said, "I already planned ahead for that situation, Trotsworth. For this first test of the teleportation zone, I would advise that only Rodney and Riverdale make the trip. The world cannot afford to lose you, Lamont, so please only allow the Stallion Warrior to make the first trip. If he arrives safely then we can permit others to make the trip."

          End of Chapter Five
          "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
          ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

          Comment


            #6
            Chapter Six

            Riverdale growled, "What do you mean by 'IF'?"

            Zecma replied evenly, "Have you ever done anything like this before and has anyone in Stampede ever attempted something like the Anchor spell before to reach other worlds?"

            That shut Riverdale up since this was figuratively the first time for anyone in Stampede. If it worked, he would be famous among the warrior tribes. Otherwise, no one would know a thing because there is no telling where they would end up.

            Rodney said, "Look on the bright side, Riverdale, if it happens to you, it is also going to happen to me; you won't be in this alone. I created the character concept of you to be brave in the face of the most outrageous dangers and this could be that dangerous. You are not going to disappoint me now, I hope. That would be like saying you do not really want to get revenge on Arighus for causing this to begin with."

            Riverdale piped back up at that moment. "Forget that! We are going to dish out payback to that scum for this... provided he is done dealing with the fluff glitch." He grinned at the thought of a bad guy having to try to deal with the same problem Players ran into.

            Zecma replied with a giggle. "I haven't fixed it yet; so he is likely still dealing with it. He doesn't seem the type to give up so easily." Then he got serious. "Okay Riverdale, head back to the teleport chamber, touch the white crystal before entering the designated square. Then permit Rodney to speak the desired teleport destination. When you arrive, touch the white crystal you will see off to one side so you learn the arrival zone. That will earn you an anchor at the new location. When bringing new herd members with you the next time, simply hold their hand and make the trip holding their hand; For you, Rodney, simply agree to have them in your party or they should join your herd fellowship before making the trip. If they should join to make the trip and later drop out of the fellowship, then they lose all teleport locations they gained through herd membership. The only place that would remain lit up on their maps will be the inns and taverns but not the rest of the kingdoms."

            Rodney commented, "That is a good idea to prevent outright map cheating."

            Zecma grinned. "I know. Now make the trip. You should next see me in the tack room. I will have to make another of these zones down in the area I own in Montropolis as well as in every village zone in Stampede. Good luck, boys. Remember the crystals." Then Zecma was quiet again.

            Lamont guided Riverdale back into the back hallway to the side doorway that led into the prepared teleport and safety zone room. To one side of the room was the white crystal. further within was the outlined white square large enough for six to eight warriors to make a trip at the same time. Lamont stayed in the hallway for the moment as Zecma had instructed as Riverdale walked into the room where upon he laid one hand on the white crystal.

            Mentally Riverdale heard what sounded like Zecma's voice naming every inn and tavern in Stampede that Riverdale had ever personally been to. It only did this once and it was over in the blink of an eye. Now he walked on into the white square where he turned around and faced the white crystal. "You are up, Rodney. Where are we going?"

            Rodney then spoke up at that point. "Rivers Farm; Tannersville, Virginia; Earth." After he spoke those words, the white outline and the crystal both lit up at the same time which made Riverdale's entire body glow like he was getting a holy blessing from a divine being. And before Lamont's eyes, the warrior stallion disappeared from sight.

            Tannersville, Virginia; Rivers Farm, Tack Room, Barn; Late 1999; Planet Earth.

            From where Zecma was seated on a nearby anvil, he saw the white crystal and white outline suddenly flare up with a bright divine light as something began to form in the arrival square. Appearing first was Rodney's wheelchair; following that, three beings appeared at the same time. One was obviously Riverdale, the second was Rodney in his human form although as he appeared, he immediately began to slump on the floor, but Riverdale caught him. The third being arriving was none other than Arighus himself. And he had that 'I have won' look on his muzzle for all of a few seconds before Zecma zapped him with a spell and sent his sorry ass back to Stampede. Zecma then quickly floated over and made a slight magical change to the crystal to prevent evil beings from making the teleport trip. The Devil Mouse then said, "Place Rodney into that wheeled chair, Riverdale. We need to get him back into his house. As for you, Riverdale, touch the white crystal so you learn this teleport location. Good thing I was waiting for you guys to arrive. Arighus would have destroyed this barn in the fight you would have had with him otherwise."

            After placing Rodney into his wheelchair, Riverdale reached over and touched the white crystal where upon he heard the location one time in his mind. "Got it, Zecma. What should I do now?"

            Zecma said, "Help me get the wheelchair and Rodney back into his house so his parents find him there later. And then you return to the teleporter and head back over to join up with Lamont. Tell Lamont to place an anti-evil spell on the white crystal. He will know what that means. Now I will show you the way to the house. The air is going to smell dirty in this world, so try to ignore the new scents. Although you can say hello to Cannonball when we wheel Rodney past that stall."

            Briefly greeting Cannonball, Riverdale was surprised to see an unevolved equine in this world. Then they got the boy back inside of his house and into his bedroom where they moved the boy to his bed. Still fully dressed.

            Zecma said, "I will stay here with Rodney and I will greet his parents and tell them the truth about myself when they see me. I don't think they should see you just yet, Riverdale. When they get used to the idea that I am not a threat, then we can introduce them to Rodney's other special friends. Don't forget to tell Lamont to cast the anti-evil spell on the white crystal. Arighus should not be able to use a teleporter we set up for the heroes to use." Riverdale nodded his head but then he removed a necklace he never took off for anyone except his chosen mate which he had not selected as yet... and he placed it around Rodney's neck before departing the house to return to Stampede.

            End of Chapter Six
            "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
            ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

            Comment


              #7
              Chapter Seven

              By the time the Rivers parents were arriving at their home in Tannersville, Rodney had awoken and was quietly talking to the Devil Mouse which he found to be as soft as a plush animal but smarter than some of Earth's best programmers and scholars.

              "Rodney!" his mother called out as she entered the house. "We're home with a pizza dinner!"

              Waiting for Rodney to get into his wheelchair, Zecma then floated himself over where he sat on Rodney's shoulder for the ride in to meet with the parents. Mr. Rivers was just barely in the door carrying groceries when he saw what was sitting on his son's shoulder. "Good God? What is that?"

              Rodney's mother turned from the kitchen and now she saw the horned mouse; good thing she had already put the pizza down on the table because like any female, she screamed.

              When Mrs. Rivers finished her scream, Zecma held up a white stock card with the numbers 7.9 written upon it in bold black ink. "Permit me to introduce myself, folks. I am Big Z, the chief programmer for Stampede, but you can call me Zecma. No, I am not human and no, I am not after anyone's soul. In fact, no one in the underworld collects souls anymore because there is no profit in the act. So to make a living like anyone else, we have to get employment. I chose to become a computer programmer. It certainly helps to make ends meet."

              Mr. Rivers then carried the grocery sack over to the kitchen counter before he turned to squat down close to look at Zecma. "You mean my son no harm?"

              Zecma replied, "Nope. As a matter of fact, I was considering the act of helping him to be able to walk again. Rodney told me about the accident and how nothing happened to those who spooked Cannonball and caused your son's accident in the first place. I could have your son walking again within an hour, if you gave me permission to do this of course. Although I do not think you should watch to see how I do it. I won't charge Rodney a thing for this service. Although, I am opening my own business in the Quad Counties in Georgia; I would like to hire your son to work for me at the new location. Although he would still be permitted to come home whenever he liked. Again with your permission. What do you say? May I cure your son's crippling stature? The medications you are currently buying for him are not seriously helping him at all. They are Placebos at best."

              Mrs. Rivers then walked over and looked at the devil mouse. "My scream only merits that much?"

              Zecma replied honestly. "I have heard Banshees give off their shouts. Had you been alone, I think your scream would have scored a higher octave. So... may I restore your son's ability to walk? I like him, he is a nice young man."

              Mr. Rivers said, "Could Rodney eat something first or would you rather he do this on an empty stomach? Some doctors prefer their patients not have a meal first; so I am asking you before you start on something."

              Zecma replied, said, "I see no reason why he can't have dinner first. It might actually help him regenerate faster. Besides, reheated meals are not that delicious and I can see that you brought in a hot pizza."

              Mrs. Rivers said, "If Rodney is walking under his own power tomorrow and he gets a clean bill of health from the family doctor, then we will permit him to work for you within the Quad Counties."

              Zecma smiled. "Its a deal. Contract Imp! Law Imp!"

              Two poofs later, and there were two imps wearing business suits floating in mid air in the room. After Zecma repeated the offer to the two imps and who had said what in regards to the offer, Zecma then said, "Also, get word to Case Worker Services. Rodney Rivers underwent a life-death situation and he was overlooked in receiving official case workers to assist him with his new life."

              The Law Imp said, "I will make contact with them right away. It is good to see you helping humans as opposed to your weekend job of babysitting the council."

              Then both imps vanished from the room.

              Mr. Rivers asked, "What did he mean by 'babysitting the council'?"

              The family and Zecma then sat at the kitchen table to have dinner as Zecma explained how once a week he was the overseer to the underworld council within Imperial City; which was an emperor assigned job which he took pride in doing since it meant another pay check. "It would be like babysitting Congress, in comparison, Mr. Rivers."

              Mrs. Rivers then said, "They need a babysitter at times, in my opinion."

              When dinner ended, Mr. Rivers wheeled Rodney back into his bedroom and helped his son lay upon the bed as per Zecma's request. "Should we undress him?"

              Zecma shook his head. "Not necessary. I have seen naked humans before and believe me when I say there isn't much to see unless he has a penis the size of the Empire State Building in those pants of his."

              Mr. Rivers remarked, "My father claimed to have one that size when he was a boy."

              End of Chapter Seven
              "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
              ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

              Comment


                #8
                Chapter Eight

                After watching Rodney's father leave the room and closing the door behind him, Zecma turned his attention to Rodney and quietly said, "Now to set the transformation trigger upon you and teach you how to use it. Riverdale gets to be his own self while you get to adventure apart from him." And Zecma got to work on granting Rodney that magical ability.

                In the midst of his working on Rodney, the two case workers arrived via teleport. One looked like an angelic male mouse wearing white robes and having a portable white computerized tablet in one hand while the other looked like the typical male devil mouse wearing red robes and having a computerized pitchfork shaped PDA devices in his hand. "Rainbow and Roddy. Rodney's officially assigned case workers. Yuskay's Law Imp told us about this situation. How is it coming along, Zecma?" The male angel mouse asked.

                Zecma quietly replied, "Nice to have you both here. We are about to have Rodney make the initial transformation from human into Stampede Stallion form which should restore his mobility upon completion and should stick even when he changes back into his human form."

                Roddy grinned. "We believe in you, Rodney. My look at that... my stocks are up three points. Encouragement bonus."

                Rodney asked, "Can my parents see or hear you guys?"

                Rainbow replied, "Not unless they are actually deceased or are special folk. You and Zecma can interact with us because one, you are assigned to us and two, Zecma is a lord."

                Roddy then said, "Now your stock has increased, Rainbow. Explanation bonus."

                And then Zecma said, "Give it a try, Rodney. Exactly like I mentally taught you to cast the spell. You don't have to say a thing to make this work." And before he could finish speaking, Rodney's form glowed and his human body was replaced with the Stampede Clydesdale form which slowly sat up in bed; something he couldn't have done without help previously. "So far so good, Rodney, now lift one leg and then the other. After that, lay back down and change back into your human form." Again while Zecma spoke, Rodney did as he was asked, lifting one leg, then the other, before laying back down where upon he transformed back into his human identity. Zecma now said, "And that is all there is to it, Rodney. Sit up and try to get out of bed. Good thing the clothing makes the change when you do or we would have had ripped clothes like the Incredible Hulk."

                Rodney then sat up and carefully moved his legs off of the edge of the bed and he scooted forward half way expecting to fall into the floor. But the wheelchair was nearby just in case and Zecma and the two case workers were also on hand. As his feet touched the floor, he smiled as he could feel the sensation under his feet and the pressure of his torso and hips upon his legs for the first time in months. He slowly turned and looked to Zecma and the others. "I'm standing on my own. I need to show mom and dad."

                Zecma smiled back at the young man. "Go on but take it easy this first time. You are still getting used to being able to move around again. The Earth doctors are going to be pissed when they see that you won't need their fake medicine anymore."

                Carefully walking over to the door, Rodney opened it before stepping out into the hallway and then he turned and went toward the living room. From the bedroom, the three planar mice could hear the reactions of joy when the parents saw their son walking without any support at all. Within the living room, Mr. and Mrs. Rivers hugged their son and just held him in a group hug.

                "Looks like you will get to work for Zecma after all, Rodney," said his mother as she looked her son over trying to see where the devil mouse made the surgical incision at. But there was nothing to see.

                Mr. Rivers said, "Where did it feel like Zecma made the pressure point to cure you, son?"

                Rodney said, "He pinched my tail bone with one hand and he pinched the back of my neck with his other hand. Aside from that, he had me imagine a squid moving through the ocean. You saw how small his hands and fingers are; clearly a pinch isn't going to be that noticeable to the naked eye."

                Mr. Rivers smiled. "So Zecma used an acupressure technique. Leave it to the Chinese to know how to cure my son of his ailment."

                Rodney said, "I will still be taking care of Cannonball, guys. He is my responsibility. And I will still be involved with Stampede. If it weren't for that game, I wouldn't have met Big Z and I wouldn't be walking now. Despite his being a devil mouse, he is as soft as a plush animal. And smarter than dad's bosses."

                Mrs. Rivers chuckled. "That wouldn't take much with their tiny feeble minds. Did you know they rely on their secretaries for nearly everything? If it weren't for women like me, the government would have crashed long before the Y2K Bug."

                Rodney then said, "According to Zecma, the Y2K Bug is a hoax invented so computer giants could sell more unneeded software for fixing a non-existent problem. And apparently the government knows about this. What about it, dad? What was the reason they gave you for coming home two days earlier than planned?"

                Mr. Rivers replied, "They told me to come home for the holidays and spend family time with my wife and son. Exact words. Although if they did believe in Y2K like everyone else does, then their follow up statement probably wouldn't have left their lips. See you on January 2nd; have a great New Years Eve. Also exact words."

                Rodney nodded his head. "You see guys. This whole thing is a hoax."

                Mrs. Rivers commented, "I suppose that makes more sense now; my bosses gave me a huge holiday bonus to use on the family. Yet he still told me to return on January 2nd."

                End of Chapter Eight
                "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
                ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

                Comment


                  #9
                  Chapter Nine

                  That night, Rodney was in bed with Zecma snuggled up closely beside him. Well, more on top on him to be more honest about it. "Where did Rainbow and Roddy disappear to?"

                  Zecma replied as he rubbed on the boy's nice chest, "They are both under union hours. They don't have to be around you when you are in bed. Besides, I am here. They will return tomorrow morning." Then he changed the subject to something his tail was detecting. "Is your flag pole erected for Cannonball, Riverdale or little old me?"

                  Rodney replied, "I haven't had the ability to get erect since the accident but the auto regeneration spell as you put it restored my ability to have an erection at all. I suppose it is for you since you are the one who assisted me in removing my paralysis so I could walk again."

                  The devil mouse smiled. "Oh I don't mind; but I need to tell you, it was poking me under my tail which is why I brought it up. If you want to play with this living plush, go right ahead. I've been in lap jobs before but those clients were not as good looking as you are, Rodney, my boy."

                  The young man frowned at that point. "I respect you too much to take advantage of you after you helped me not once but twice and all you want in return is for me to work for Stampede Advanced to help the other players in game."

                  Zecma grinned. "And again you earn trust points with me by showing your kindness. I am going to love having you as an employee. How does 1200 a week sound for being a Moderator for Stampede Advanced?"

                  Rodney giggled. "Sounds like you are paying me for sex. I can work with 1200 a week but since I will be living at your place rent free, what is the money for?"

                  Zecma remarked evenly. "Food, clothing expenses, feed and products for your horse. That stuff isn't free you know; it costs money. I can waive the rent, TV, phone and internet since Zec-Corp will need those things to get all of the MMO games back into operation during the down time. After all the games are up and running once again, the MMOs will pay for themselves; players are good about making purchases in game. I could even hire a few of your online friends once we're good to go once again."

                  Rodney yawned slowly. "Will we be sharing a room in your corporate headquarters, Zec?"

                  The devil mouse chuckled. "We can if you really want to, Rod. I like laying close to a nice boy like this. Tomorrow I have to get the shortcut between the tack room and the factory set up. Then we have to make sure you learn both locations. Later, Riverdale and Lamont might want to see you again. However, tomorrow your parents are going to take you in to the family doctor to get that clean bill of health. When you obtain that, you become my employee according to your mother's own words. So try to get some sleep, Rodney, my boy. And don't worry about what your erection does in the middle of the night. Like I said earlier... I really don't mind. You cannot hurt me; I am very stretchy."

                  Whatever else happened that night was not known to Rodney although when he awoke the next morning, he felt as if his erection had subsided while he slept. But for now the need to use the bathroom was coming upon him. He slid out of bed and quickly made his way to the bathroom for his morning business.

                  After finishing using the stool, he took a quick shower in the bath tub before emerging and grabbing a towel to dry himself all over. As he looked at himself in the bathroom mirror, he noticed Rainbow and Roddy floating nearby simply awaiting for him to finish his morning ritual. "How long have you two been watching me bathe?"

                  Rainbow the angel mouse replied, "Not as long as your fun session with Zecma in bed last night lasted. Roddy and I watched the instant replay of your session before we came to work this morning. Don't be bashful; it was bound to happen since you chose to sleep with a devil mouse. Although Roddy might be more fun in bed. Wouldn't you, partner?"

                  The red clad devil mouse replied, "The union doesn't award bonus perks like that, Rainbow, but it would be a fine bonus to have if the client freely gave us that session. I couldn't say no in that case."

                  Rodney then asked, "I know you mentioned that you guys had stocks that gain points, Roddy. Do I have stocks that gain anything?"

                  Roddy replied, "As a human, no. But you have a stock listing in your Stampede Stallion identity. Therefore, you only gain points when you do things while wearing his body."

                  Rainbow said, "Last I looked, that form had gained a few points for the successful transformation that healed your human body. However, I think your human form should have stocks what with all the stuff you have been through so far."

                  After using the blow dryer on his hair, he walked back to his bedroom where he got into his clothes, socks, and leather work boots. He then fastened a red neckerchief around his neck before having Rainbow and Roddy land on his shoulders for his trip to the kitchen to get some breakfast before going out to brush Cannonball for the first time in months. After that, he would head off with his parents to see the family doctor. He wanted to ask the doctor about the placebo medication that his parents were paying hundreds of dollars for his usage.

                  After getting his meal, he went out to the barn where he visited the tack room to get the brushes for grooming his horse. He remembered something Zecma told him when he saw the white crystal as he walked over and touched it with one hand. Within his mind, he mentally got a list of the places in Stampede that Riverdale and himself had been together during game play as well as his home location on Earth. Finally he headed back to start on Cannonball's brushing session. "Hey ya, old buddy. Ready for a good brushing?"

                  Not expecting an answer, Rodney was surprised when Cannonball lifted his head up and replied in fluent English. "I sure am, Master Rodney. I am really glad to see you walking under your own power once again; I look forward toward our rides when you get the time. I have been working on my courage."

                  End of Chapter Nine
                  "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
                  ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Chapter Ten

                    Rodney backed up a step when the horse replied like that. "When did I start understanding your language?"

                    Cannonball smiled at his human boy as he rubbed his muzzle against Rodney's face. "I am not sure but I assume it has something to do with that magic necklace that is embedded inside your body. The necklace that Riverdale gave you yesterday before you awoke from the shock of the teleport trip. He placed it around your human neck but when you changed into a Stampede Stallion for the first time, the necklace stayed with your horse form and your human form gained the language as a trade-off gift. I do not know if it is only horses or all animals. You better get started on grooming me before your parents start to wonder whom you are talking to out here. Your case workers are adorable, by the way."

                    Rodney got to work on brushing his horse at that point. While he worked, he glanced at Rainbow. "I thought you said only the deceased and special folk could see you guys as well as those you are assigned to as well as lords. What does that make Cannonball?"

                    Roddy chose to answer to save Rainbow the embarrassment. "All animals can see us because they are already special folk in their own right. Look at that, I got Sacrifice bonus points and Rainbow got gratitude bonus points. We're doing good now. I love this job."

                    At that point, Rodney released a sigh as he leaned back against the wall of the stall looking a little miserable. Rainbow then asked, "What's wrong, Rodney? Are you having a relapse? Please don't let it be that; Zecma will be devastated if his cure fails now."

                    "You guys gain points for every little thing you do;" he replied sadly. "I just feel left out as if I was a nobody."

                    Rainbow then walked around to Roddy's side of the boy's shoulders and said, "Don't be announcing our gains like that. This is one of the reasons I said Rodney as a human should have stocks. We are doing our jobs but what little he does doesn't score him anything."

                    Roddy said, "If Rodney had powers in his human form, then he would automatically have stocks that would gain points every time he used his powers."

                    Rainbow said, "How could we help him get powers without breaking the rules to give him those powers?"

                    The red robed devil mouse chuckled in his heritage wicked laugh for a moment. "There is a way but he has to ask for it; otherwise we cannot do a thing." Roddy then produced a note card and wrote a message out on the card before holding it deliberately in front of Rodney's eyes. "Read this to yourself, quickly!"

                    Rodney did as commanded as fast as his mind would permit him to see the message... moments before Roddy made the note card ignite in a blast of flame which then littered the ground in cold ash. Roddy then said, "That is what Rodney has to do. And it will be his own idea although you might not participate, Rainbow, unless you care about our client as much as I do."

                    Rainbow walked back over his own side of the shoulders shaking his head since he didn't see the message himself. "I am sure this is against the rules."

                    Roddy put on his most innocent voice and replied, "What is against the rules? I don't know what you are talking about." He mentally noticed his stocks drop a few points for Deception, but if this helped Rodney, he didn't care for a few points being lost. He wasn't doing this for himself; he was doing it for the client.

                    Rodney then said, "I am a little thirsty. Could you guys get me a glass of milk?"

                    Roddy said, "We sure can; we'll be right back." And the red devil mouse grabbed the angel mouse before teleporting off to a private spot with him... then he made a horrible face as he blew his cooler breath on his steaming hands. "Why is it you angels have to be coated in that layer of holy protection? That hurt. Now lets get busy and milk ourselves into this glass. We have to fill it with a mixture of our special milk. Straight from the tap."

                    Rainbow growled, "Now I know you are crazy! This IS against the rules! What are you thinking?"

                    Roddy grinned. "I knew you didn't really care about our client. So I'll do this myself and add some normal milk into this when I get it partially filled. When he drinks this, he will gain his own powers. I don't care if my points drain to zero for this act; Rodney is miserable and I partially caused it. If you help with this, we can start over with a clean slate. Please, Rainy... Purrrrrty pweeeease?!" He was using the sad puppy dog eyes on the angel mouse and it worked.

                    Rainbow lifted his white robes and he ejaculated toward the open glass and began filling it with magical angel mouse fluids, as Roddy did the same with his own devil mouse fluids. As the 'milk' mixed in the glass, the opposing forces of Heaven and Hell canceled each other and left behind a purified magical 'glass of milk'. The two case workers then cleaned themselves up as they returned to Rodney with the 'glass of milk'.

                    Roddy said, "Drink up, Rodney. This will be the best and most purified milk of your life."

                    Rainbow just rolled his eyes as he was mentally thinking, As sick as it may make Roddy feel, please forgive his sick mind. He did break the rules and he convinced me to help but he did speak a truth; this is not for ourselves. Our client was miserable and this act was for him. Please do not be too harsh on our first outing together in the world.

                    Rodney lifted the glass of 'milk' to his lips as he began drinking the concoction entirely in one fell session, feeling as if he couldn't stop himself from drinking it all in one complete swallow. Then he perked up as he felt his skin prickle under his clothes and his hair felt as if it was standing on end. And then it happened.

                    To Be Continued...

                    End of Chapter Ten
                    End of Episode One: Seldom is Herd.

                    Stay tuned for the next episode, Grand Opening.
                    "With nerves of steel and laughing at danger..."
                    ~~~~~ Artemis Archer

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