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The sewage tunnels opened up into the sunlight of Great Falls National Park.  Necrobump sighed with relief.  It was good to be out from underneath the earth.  If he wanted to be stuck underground for days, he would have rolled up a Dwarf.

The air was fresh in the park.  The gentle breeze smelt like spring.  There was a small stream trickling out from one of the sewer’s exit-conduits that Necro decided to follow as it trickled through wildflower speckled the wilderness.  As Necrobump walked along the stream he walked under ancient oak trees and Poplars.  A pileated woodpecker flew by, and a mockingbird sang a melancholy song from up above hidden among the branches.

As promised, Necrobump opened up his status window and forwarded Gregor, “With Love,” the private key to the massive collection of spam he’d encrypted a few hours earlier in the dungeon.

He needed to make a bit of distance from this place.  Ultimately his goal was, for now, Chesapeake Bay Virginia, but he needed to figure out the extent to which his aliases had been compromised.  

The person who would really know was that tool LeeroyJenkins.  Jenkins must still be in the loop.  Too many of Necro’s hideouts were in low-mana zone that needed massive amounts of mana to break into.  Either Jenkins, or someone else maybe from off server, who specialized in mana manipulation would have been needed to bypass Necro’s exceptional security.  

If his cover was broken, then he had to assume that all of his covers that he used with Jenkins were broken.  Which meant that none of his more recent aliases would work.  It was time for something new.  

Thinking about his options Necrobump walked along the stream which eventually merged into the run off of a natural spring.  Cool clear fresh drinking water from the spring.  Perfect and clear and healthy water, mixed with the sewage expelled from Gregor to flow out and eventually to run into the Potomac River.

Inevitably Necrobump found himself in civilization.  Hikers and tourists all shied away from him.  One young kid with a really stupid looking soul patch and a rapier – presumably the rapier signifying he was an adventurer of some sort, and maybe the bit of hair under his lip signified he was bad ass – said to Necrobump while Mr. Soul Patch was getting out of a Toyota Corolla with his girlfriend, “Dude you stink.  You stink so bad.” Then Soul Patch guy turned to his girlfriend.  “Doesn’t he smell horrible?”

The girlfriend giggled.

“No shit,” Necro said.

“No, you smell like shit, yo.”  Soul Patch dude said.
The girlfriend giggled again.

There was of course no way that Necrobump was going to get very into town looking and smelling like he did.  He knew some minor cleaning and grooming spells, but nothing that would wash their way through the layers and layers of grime and feces that covered Necrobump from head to toe.  

As a result, Necro did the next best thing. When Mr. Soul Patch and his girlfriend were out of sight, he stole their Toyota Corolla.  Smashed the back side window in, unlocked and opened the door, and then hotwired the car.  

Necro drove south for a couple hours.  He had to drive with his windows rolled down the entire way.  In the sewers he must have gotten use to the smell, or maybe some dumb AI that controlled his nostrils had simply implemented a filter algorithm, but now that he was out in the fresh air, and that filter was removed he did have to agree with Soul Patch guy.  He did smell like shit.  

Regardless, Necro needed to clean himself up soon and he also need to lose this car.  

Just outside of Charlottesville Virginia he saw a suburban strip mall which – offered opportunities.  Originally, Necrobump had planned to dump his car off near the UVA campus.  He remembered there was a fountain in the Rotunda that he could wash off in.  Out of the corner of his eye however, as he was driving past the strip mall he saw another Toyota Corolla that looked identical to the one he was driving.  

So he drove into the parking lot and parked right next to the second Toyota.  Necrobump was in luck.  It was the exact color, exact year, exact model of Toyota.  

Taking a screw driver out of his inventory he removed first the license plate from the car he’d stolen earlier that day and swapped it for the license plate in the parking lot. Then he got back into the car he’d stolen and drove it over to the other side of the mall.  

More and more luck was falling his way.  Over by one of the entrances there was a payphone.  In the 21st Century North America Server nobody actually used payphones.  This was an era of email and instant brain to brain communication, the phone was in pristine condition.  Any phone anybody ever saw was a graphical holdover from an idealized 21st century than real in the sense that it had any practical value.  

So the phone was basically useless, except in the rare circumstances like this one, where the instant recognition of mental communication was completely undesired.  

Taking a deep breath, and then in a falsetto voice, Necrobump said.  “Lalalalalala.  Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do.”  But it didn’t come out quite right.  

He thought about it a bit longer then reaching into his pants, he jammed his balls between his legs and then locked his legs together.  “Lalalalalala.  Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do.  Better.” He said in a much higher pitched voice.

He popped 50 cents into the payphone and dialed LeroyJenkins5563 and let it ring.

“Hello, this is LeroyJenkins5563,” the Complete Tool said.

“Hello Mr. Jenkins.  Hello… Hello… Can you hear me.”  Necrobump said, balls tucked tightly between his legs, in the resulting womanly voice.

“Ms.?  Who are you Madame, I can barely hear you.”

“I need your help sir.  Vile hoodlums have absconded with my precious collection of tiny porcelain ducks.  They were magically guarded by your absolutely fantastic powers of mana negation.  Can you do something for me?  I am at a loss.   Who could have done this to me.”

“Madame, there is no need to fear.  The vile miscreant is now known.  He goes by the name of Necrobump but has many aliases.  He once even tried to befriended me, and I saw through his ruse.  If I was almost fooled I can only imagine who else, he has taken in.  The scum on this server knows no boundaries.  They have no honor or dignity.    But I can assure you, dear lady, that he is on the run.  There is a dragnet closing in upon him.  

“I assure you that the reprehensible miscreant Necrobump, may stop to perform these petty vandalisms… maybe to distract me, maybe he has a deeper viler plan in mind.   If he has stooped to looting a woman’s tiny porcelain figurines.  Well, all I can say is that he truly knows no boundries.  

“Madame, in my spare time I collect antique Kestner Dolls.   Or rather digital replicas, since the original manufacturer from the 1920’s Germany is long gone.  So you know I and sympathize with your plight.  I cannot help but feel that Necrobump must be somehow trying to target me in some way.  His alias that lured me in with friendship and pretended to be my associate knew of my collection.   In his pretend friendship, he used to compliment the manliness of my doll collection.  I now know that this was a lie.

“Tell me Madame, was your collection of porcelain ducks valuable?”

Necrobump was having a hard time not giggling.  

“It was the finest in all the lands.  I had a mallard that was so lifelike it seemed to quack.  You say that this monster, Necrobump you call him, you say he is going to be caught?  I would think that he would be too clever and good looking to be trapped so easily.  The man who stole my precious collection must be a criminal genius.”

“Don’t you worry, Madame.  The long arm of the law is coming for him.  He cannot allude justice forever.  I have been told that even President Humongous Testicles himself is aware of this madman’s escapades.  He is a despoiler of the finer arts and an intellectual boor, and he will be caught.”

“Oh me, oh my!   Not President Humongous Testicles.  Wow.  The President of the United States himself.  Could you tell me where the President is looking for him, so I know where to avoid travelling?  This person sounds dangerous and I would not like tangled in his web of deception.”

“There is no need to worry Madame, as long as you avoid East and North of city, that is where the forces of good are mustering to hunt this villain down.”

“Thank you Mr. LeeroyJenkins sir.  You are a most honorable and wise man.  And now I know you are a fellow collector and appreciator of beautiful figurines.   I am certain the trenchant villain you have described will surely elude your dragnet for much longer.  And if he does contact you to ransom my precious porcelain ducks for a means to find safety, I trust you will always know what is best.  The fate of our great nation is resting upon your delirious judgement, you tool.”

Necrobump hung up.  He relaxed his legs, spread them wide and let his balls hang free.  He said a few words in his normal baritone.  Not that there was anything wrong with being a woman – he tried it out for a a couple years, years and years ago – but he preferred being a man.  

Getting back into his stolen Toyota Corolla he began to drive once again.  If on the extremely unlikely chance that LeroyJenkins5563 clued in to their conversation and traced the phone call back to Charlottesville, they’d think that he was headed inland.  Maybe to driving to New Orleans or practically anywhere else.  

It was time to change directions.  Necrobump began to drive.  Soon the daytime turned into night.  Under the light of the spring moon Necro pulled into Chesapeake Bay Virginia.  Years and years and years and years ago he’d put a catamaran in dry dock and paid for 200 years of upkeep and storage.  

The alias he used down here, he had never associated with any crime.  He hadn’t used this persona for close to 70 years, and back then he was playing things straight.  Just a simple mage of leisure.  He’d spent a few years sailing between the various Caribbean islands, drinking Pina Coladas and meeting lovely island ladies of outgoing and fun inhibitions.  

In a storage facility nearby was an entirely new identity.  There was unmarked money.  Access to completely clean bank accounts.  A fresh passport.  An entirely new persona, or rather an entirely old persona that simply needed to be dusted off to be useful again.

Not only that, but there was an Intra Server Gateway that was completely anonymous in the San Bas Islands.  True, San Bas was a beautiful sailing, but if you looked in the right places, it was also a den of scum and villany, where the very best way to get off of the 21st Century North America Server and into the Hallway without being logged or registered, was located.  

Necrobump pulled into the 24 hour storage space.  From deep in his inventory, stored in a box that he hadn’t needed to access in years and year he withdrew a key.  Placing the key in the lock and rolling up the storage room door, glanced around.  There was a layer of dust on top of everything in here.  

Finally his eyes landed on a box with the password.  He picked it up and flipped through it.  There was a picture of him on the internal page.  He was wearing a mustache.  He hadn’t remembered that.  He looked like a fireman or a policeman.  

Necrobump, smiled and then quietly said to himself, “You can now Call me Ishmael.”
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obran

  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • The enima of my enemy is my friend

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