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Life is not a Box of Cookies

'And you say she hasn't eaten any of these cookies?' the chemist asked staring at Veronica over thin rimmed spectacles.

'No,' Veronica replied. 'I have not given them to her, I brought them to you here in Chemtown after they were passed to me.'

'Good,' responded the chemist. 'Very good. Because they are indeed poisoned. Yes, if she had eaten six or maybe just five, yes that may be enough, then given a little time, then..er... what's her name...'

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Two Sides of the Same Question

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.
Ayn Rand

Catching the coin he flipped it onto the back of his other hand and examined it. Seemingly satisfied with the outcome he leaned back against the rough brick of the New Flagstaff Rider's office and gazed back towards the pond. She was still there, sitting on that bench, still looking at the pond.

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Anomaly

Anomaly removed. Attempting normalisation. Warning anomaly detected. Graham unit initialisation failed. Identity Error. Identity Error. Attempting correction.

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A Town Called Allegory

The town of Allegory was a desolate place. Veronica was surprised she had not come across it before. She stopped her bike and walked past the slanted sign displaying the town name into what she assumed was once the town square. The buildings around it were empty, devoid of life, beginning to decay on the path to ruin. Movement on the ground caught her attention and she bent her knees to take a closer look. A small creature was hoping about, it looked at her with bulging eyes and made a strange sound. 'Feeerrrppp! Feeerrrppp!'

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Chance of Survival

Chance of Survival: Calculating - Please Wait...

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Over Cooked and Under Prepared

It was hard work. Veronica was cleaning the oven after another dinner disaster. Dressed in yellow industrial gloves it was still hard work indeed. No matter how much she scrubbed it just did not seem to get any cleaner. She just did not understand, she would always follow the recipes, do exactly what was in the instructions, but the result was never how people told her it would be. She glanced up at the spongy mess near the sink, Gina's cake. It almost seemed alive at time, she was sure she had seen it move, for a cake it was kind of... well...sort of... well...

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The Movement of Stationery

The paper stationery business was good and with people writing archives, diaries and letters, Veronica's business was increasing where others had folded. She had tried making shirts for a local merchant whose costume was as outrageous as his personality but the quality was not great, it did not pay as well and and they were awkward to make despite trying to build a machine to help sew which she had tested by attempting repair of Gina's pants. That did not go well. One day Gina would ask just where those pants went, but not today and hopefully not tomorrow.

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Grenade Expectations

Oblivious to his presence behind a mound the Techs continued taking their readings from their scientific devices placed around their camp. Remaining hidden and with grenade in hand, a grubby man named Frok watched them carefully.

Suddenly the grenade fell from Frok's hand, landed on his foot and started rolling away. Mumbling obscenities he rushed after the grenade and retrieved it before returning to his observations wincing slightly at the pain in his foot.

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Short Goodbyes

Veronica and Shorty sat on the steps of the Black Beer Bar under the night sky, both with a can of grape soda in their hands.

'So you were in Oilville to sell things, Veronica said. 'Things you had recently acquired.'

'Yes,' replied Shorty smiling. 'Very good, very good at acquiring things.'

'But how were you going to get back?'

'Oh with trader,' he replied. 'I wash vehicle, they take me.'

'But you were originally from Indiana?'

'Yes, Indiana, town called Jones.'

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No Time for Patients - Part 3/3

'Faster lady! Faster!' Shorty cried holding on firmly to Veronica in front of him on the bike, his over sized doctor gown fluttering wildly behind him.

'I'm going as fast as I can!' Veronica responded before concentrating on trying to catch up with Reavy's car ahead on the road as they sped away from Oilville. Behind them bikes, ATVs and cars were starting pursuit of them. Ahead of them Reavy drove at full speed along the road, the back car door hang open, the end of the makeshift stretcher holding Allie sticking out.

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No Time for Patients - Part 2/3

Keywords:

Hiding within an empty storage container in Oilville, Veronica and Shorty each dressed themselves in a doctor gown, some of the items stolen on request of Veronica by the boy she knew as Shorty. His gown looked ridiculously large on him but it would have to do. Veronica looked over at the stretcher, something they had quickly made by joining some wood planks together and putting a cloth on them. Rough but they did not have time to be perfect, and this plan she thought was far from perfect.

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No Time for Patients - Part 1/3

'Hey lady! Hey purple hair lady!'

Veronica turned round to find a short boy with East Asian features wearing a blue and white baseball cap with a bag over his shoulder running towards her.

'You lady! Stop! Purple hair!' he shouted with a Chinese accent.

'Me?' she asked him as ran up to her and started catching his breath.

'Yes, you purple hair. You are clone yes?'

'Er...yes...why?' Veronica asked suspiciously.

'I've been looking everywhere for you lady. Hats! Too many hats!'

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Heads or Tails?

Keywords:

The thumb flips it up into the air. It spins, the light shimmering off it, it rises, it falls. A hand catches it and slaps it onto the back of the other hand. The hand is lifted slowly and it is examined. Repeat. Again and again and again.

Veronica sat at a table on the Oilville bar rooftop area gripping a can of soda tightly and frowning with irritation at the man on a nearby table who was constantly flipping a metallic disk into the air and catching it, examining it each time it fell.

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A Reflection Riven

'Sorry you can't see her right now,' the woman at the Oilville Medical building told Veronica with a smile barely hiding her contempt. 'She's...sleeping...yes sleeping.'

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Circles within Circles

Rating:

 The finger runs along the grain of the wood of the table top on the rooftop area of Oilville's bar, following the path of time, of story, of history. Reaching a knot in the wood Veronica traces the whorls within. Circles within circles within circles.

Did I push Brown too far? Did my words cause her to snap like that? Valkyrie. It was a call for clones to take arms, to rise up and take revenge on those who would abuse, those who would use... her?...us?...me?

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Said the Spider to the Fly - Part 2/2

Veronica stood anxiously by the cave entrance wondering if Spinne was going to turn up. She certainly did not feel comfortable with the idea of being led through these tunnels by him, especially after what she had seen in his shack. Sam Spinne was odd to say the least. He had told her to meet him here at dusk and he would take her into the complex below and show her where the switches were. She was about to give up waiting when she heard a noise.

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Said the Spider to the Fly - Part 1/2

Veronica glanced once more at the spiders nearby to make sure they were keeping their distance and then stared back at the cave entrance just outside the town of Spider Hill. It was dark in there, damp in there, and downright creepy. Yet the switches were still not activated, the circuits not made, the power not flowing. She went down there with the others the previous day and knew that it was as bad down there as she had imagined it would be. The cave entrance seemed to be trying to invite her in. 'No,' she said aloud.

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Dials and Switches, Legs and Fangs

Veronica screamed as a huge spider started to crawl out of the electrical tower control box after she had opened its doors. She stepped back quickly and her companions immedately started to fire at the spider taking care not to hit the controls behind it.

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Standing Room Only

Veronica stood in the cramp toilet cubicle just past the garage in Spider Hill, her legs flush with the wall. Toilet Boy stood opposite her.

'Why do I keep getting into these situations? she thought as she shuffled slightly to avoid brushing against the toilet squeezed between them. At least it was clean, perhaps Toilet Boy was finding the time to fit in his other job despite working as security for Brown.

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Naked Truths

Veronica looked over to the pile of clothing a few paces away and then back to the man in front of her who stood in the arid waste land wearing only his underpants and a stupid grin. She could feel the stares from a small group of people standing over on the road which passed by Spider Hill, burning into the back of her head.

It's at times like this, thought Veronica, that I wonder just what the hell I'm doing here.

She squinted in the sunlight and peered at the face of the man in front of her. Toilet Boy began to laugh.

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Koala AM

Rating:

Big eyes. Big big eyes.

Veronica peered closer as it rested on the table top. It was a funny thing she thought, the radio Toilet Boy had given her to contact him, in the shape of a koala. A toy but functional, adapted so she could radio him on AM frequency.

You are a strange looking creature... such big eyes... are your eyes really that big or have they been made to look that way to make you more cute.... yes...cute you ... a funny little bear.....

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Three Course Conversation

Veronica cast her eyes down the menu trying to find a dish which didn't have the word 'spider' in the name and eventually settled on stir fried vegetables. After giving her order she sat on the tall stool at the counter of the Spider Hill diner and thought on recent events.

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Frequency Hertz

'Gina..Gina... are you there Gina?' spoke Veronica frantically into her radio as she raced along on her bike. There was still no answer both on the radio and to the question of just what had happened.

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Reversing Polarity

Veronica stood looking up at the electrical towers in Spider Hill. They were a marvel of science and engineering, a wonderful achievement of design and as they glistened in sunlight they became objects of beauty. She wondered what they were like in the days of full operation, when power flowed through them, electrons cascading like water over a fall, exhilarating, energizing, electricity.

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Runs of Bad Luck

((This was some crazy rp...))

'Agggh...! For the love of god...' came Shadow's voice across the bunker bar from where the gambling machines were.

Faces in the bar turned and then quickly returned to looking down a glass.

Something almost intelligible was uttered loudly from where Shadow sat playing the gambling machine.

'What was that?' Veronica asked Allriae. 'Is he talking about farming now? Did he say bullocks? in the bar?'

'I think he lost the game,' responded Allriae, her face going a little red with embarassment.

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Turning Up and Tuning In

The meeting went well, although this new technician who has joined the radio project seems a little odd, a Miss Brown, knows her stuff, but knows Joe as well... something was not right...

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A Thousand Eyes

Veronica parked the bike down between the buildings and walked towards the New Flagstaff pond area. A light breeze was creating ripples on the water. The seats around the pond were empty and although Veronica was tempted to sit there a while and relax for a moment she knew it would be foolish after her last visit here, that night time visit to the Spivey warehouse. People were gathered over by the vaults and she wondered if any of them were looking for her and she shivered as if a thousand eyes were looking over in her direction.

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Warehouse Break In - Epilogue - Getting Back

((After events of Part1 and Part2 on return to Hope Spring))

Veronica sat quietly on the Barret Manor balcony in Hope Springs looking out towards the smouldering ruins which was once Gina and her house. It had been one hell of a night.

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Warehouse Break In - Part 2 - Getting Out

((This part 2 continues directly on from Part 1.
Acknowledgement - Thanks go to Mr Spivey of Spivey Independent Traders for providing the image of the list discovered although the magazine cover mentioned from Spivey's personal collection was unfortunately unavailable owing to currently being in use.))


She slipped inside....

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Warehouse Break In - Part 1 - Getting In

They looked a slightly comical bunch, Gina in her darker Vista gear, Sean, the man who had offered his help and seemed trust worthy also dressed in darker clothes but appropriately armed, just in case, and Veronica dressed in black pants and a dark grey top and wearing black sneakers. They all had their roles, there was a job to be done, a warehouse to break into and secrets to be uncovered.

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