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 Post subject: Returning to D'ni
PostPosted: Tue May 23, 2006 3:59 pm 

Joined: Sat May 20, 2006 7:46 am
Posts: 48
Location: Austin, TX
((Like many, after the first Uru Live cancellation, I returned to the surface and other real world and fantasy world adventures. This is my introduction and my return!))

Tossing my broken umbrella into the backseat with a sigh, I yanked up my jacket hood and jumped out of the jeep into the third day of pouring rain. My umbrella hadn't lasted through day two. This place, as my son was fond of saying about school, "sucks" -- and the constant downpour wasn't making it any better.

Slogging through the muddy clearing of the project's student and contractor designated parking area, I flashed my orange 'short-term' visitor badge at the half asleep guard, who gave me no more than a brief wave of his hand from the relatively dry safety of his guard shack. As if anything here would be worthy of security breach? I sighed again and trudged down the bunker steps into yet another day of long winded archeology briefings by droning professors and site experts. I was clearly not going to get any real work done in such a dreary place as this... Had all the great adventures been lost or forgotten? Were there no new journeys waiting to be discovered? From the string of bad leads into dead-end worlds I had been off and on participating in over the years, apparently there wasn't.

Until today.

Grabbing my backpack from the bank of rusty, leaning lockers along the damp passageway wall, I flipped open my laptop - glad I hadn't tried to take it back to the motel with me last night (there wasn't any internet connection at this backwoods lodging anyways) and risk soaking it anymore than the first day had.

I was busy deleting the usual list of spam and unknown correspondences when my mouse hovered over an email from a name I wasn't quite familiar with, but felt I should be from somewhere I remembered. "Survey completed yet?" -- the subject almost got me to hit the delete button again, since that ranked right up there with half the other garbage I got every day... but yet, the name was so familiar...

When I opened the email, the first thing to jump out at me, and cause my heart to jump too was the DRC logo and icon. Wow, how long had it been since I had seen 'that' particular acronym? I grimaced with a well remembered annoyance.

There was no official greeting, no stilted professional jargon or mumbo jumbo canned form letter... it was just a few brief lines:

"If you didn't know they were going to open it back up, you should go check in at the usual society sites. Finish up and send back your survey if you haven't already, and be sure to update your current address and location info. Hope to see you in the cavern."

Just like that. No signature, no anything.

My eyes jumped back to the email address of the sender and then it dawned on me who this was! A huge grin erupted out of nowhere and suddenly the dreary damp quarters of this boring digsite seemed a million miles away.

Quickly, I scrolled back through the past week's worth of trashed (but yet undeleted) emails in the recycle folder and located the survey I had overlooked, thankful I hadn't deleted everything yet. There were links here I would need for updating information and applying for re-entry! How could I have deleted mail from them?!

In my mind, I was already planning what gear to pack, who would need to be notified and how soon. I had NEVER imagined I might get the chance to return to D'ni, and this time I was going to be sure I was ready to go!

How long ago it seemed, that winter of 2003 and new year 2004 that I had been given the rare opportunity to accompany a small group of explorers, scientists and other invited visitors to the mysterious underground cavern of D'ni. A place unlike anything I had ever experienced in my years of exploration, D'ni was a culture long gone, but more alive and powerful than any I had ever studied. They had possessed abilities we surface dwellers could only dream of inventing with even modern technology. The places I had seen and visited, the wonders uncovered - it was still vivid in my memory and had colored the rest of my real world as gray as the solid sheets of rain that fell outside this drab site.

Suddenly I knew I couldn't stay here another minute. I shoved my laptop back into my backpack, gathered up my coffee mug and notebooks from the day before, crammed them into my bag as well and stuffed myself, backpack and all into my oversized raincoat. Looking very much like a giant upright turtle draped in a tent, I stomped back out into the rain, waved at the guard and sprang with new energy back into my jeep.

I was going back to D'ni!!

KI: 02127837

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