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Dangerous Realism
- Scatter ///\oo/\\\
The love song of an anonymous mudder
- Twiggy@Discworld (with notable help from T. S. Eliot
NPC Intelligence
- David Bennett
Multilayed Mapping
- Telford Tendys

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Letter 1
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The love song of an anonymous mudder

by Twiggy@Discworld (with notable help from T. S. Eliot

'The Love Song Of An Anonymous Mudder.'

Ho usato credere che avessi certo genere di controllo,
Quel ero soltanto un giocatore e questo era soltanto un gioco.
Allora i giorni hanno slittato alle notti e la realtÓ Ŕ andato alla deriva via,
E la distanza che ritengo dal mondo intorno me,
E gli sbalzi che ritengo mentre la linea telefonica canta il
Mi dice la mia vita sta ritirandosi...

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a pixellated world upon a cable;
Let us go, through certain half-constructed streets,
The reality retreats
To restless nights of lonely multi-tells,
And on-line cafes with UNIX shells:
Souls that require near impossible arguments
Or syntax laments
To lead you to an overwhelming question...
Oh, do on ask, "-Real-, is it?"
Let us go, and make our visit.

In the chat-room, mudders come and go
Talking of lag and data flow.

The non-compliant browsers crashing screens with window frames,
The archaic mud clients disconnecting telnet frames,
ISP calls in the corners of the evening,
Lingering upon the heartbeats and commands,
Letting fall upon our backs the costs that fall from servers,
Tripping on the modem cords, making sudden leaps,
And seeing that it is 5:15 in the morning after twelve hours on-line,
Curling once about the keyboard, and falling asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For I changed my on-line plan again last week
To unlimited access, ran out of time again;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a desc to meet the virtual faces that you meet;
Thre will be time to inhume and create,
And time for all the silent, special days
That lift and drop a pink bow at your feet;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before deciding how to spend idle xp.

In the chat-room, mudders come and go
Talking of lag and data flow.

. . . . .

For I have known them all already, known them all -
Have known the Hogswatches, mornings, secundus noons,
I have measured out my life 'twixt calls of 'Spooooon!'
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the cliff-face, falling to their doom.
So how should I presume?

. . . . .

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through Morpork streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the remains
Of the 34th rebuilding of the Alchemists Guild? . . .

I should have been a pair of crocodile jaws,
Shattering across the floors of Djelian seas.

. . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, drifts so peacefully!
Soothed by long fingers,
Asleep . . . tired . . . or it malingers,
Stretched out in the temples, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and shield and aegis,
Have the strength to kill the men in the oasis?
But though I have wept and murdered, wept and prayed,
Though I have had many a body [still slightly soggy] ventisipelated,
I am no priestess - and here's no great statement.
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the black-robed Footman hold his scythe, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the phone calls and the software and the access bills,
After the lagging, after the modems, after the sleepless nights of
mudding until dawn -
And this, and so much more? -
It is impossible to say just what I mean!

But as if a ray of moonlight threw my tired shadow on the screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling in a chair or listening to the call,
And turning toward the window, should say:

"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."

. . . . .

No! I am not Prince Pteppic, nor was meant to be;
Am a troll mercenary, one that will do
To start a bar brawl, take a punch or two,
Advise the king; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Friendly, intricate, and meticulous;
Full of long sentence, and a bit sagacious;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous -
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall bear the tales of oldbies to be told.

Shall I leave the 'puter on? Do I say souls in my speech?
I shall drag myself into the sun and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the modems singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have heard them singing in my dreams and days,
Shrilling in thin air as they echo back
When the screen flickers Telnet white and black.

We have lingered in the depths of LPC
By comrades who we live with in this town,
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


Nice kitty cat

Twas brillig and the slithy toves.... No, no, thats not it.

NB. The following piece is an appropriation of the fine T. S. Eliot's outstanding work, The Love Song Of Alfred J. Prufock, which, for reference, can be found at http://www.columbia.edu/acis/bartleby/eliot/1.html.

Forgive me, Eliot.

For reference, I am flaming my insatiable love of this place (and questionable Italian-English on-line translators)