The Legacy of Demetrius Chapter 3
Unknown Place, Unknown Time
It was still dark when Marle woke. For a moment she lay in the bed confused, before remembering the previous day's events. She had ended up in the year 600 where the people had mistaken her for the queen, her ancestor. Then she had disappeared, and now she was here, wherever here was. She stood and went to the window. It was still dark outside, the black sky was adorned with unblinking stars. Unlike natural stars, that many a bard had likened to jewels, these stars appeared to be blemishes in the flat black sky.
Ugly isn't it?
Marle spun at the voice. Who's there?
Several lamps burst to flame, lighting the small house. In front of her stood a woman, perhaps in her late twenties, she wore a dress as elegant as Marle's own. Her auburn hair hung in curls that just touched her shoulders, and her dark eyes held Marle in an almost violent grip. The woman didn't smile. My name is Orbiana Modilla. I am the Empress of the Hendbar Empire.
A sudden realization struck Marle. The brand she had seen on the men around the camp fire had been the Hendbar emblem. Shed only seen the symbol once, it had been during her history lessons. Nearly a thousand years before her birth there had been a great war that had decided the fate of the world. Several clans had fought for the supremacy of the Zenan Continent. In the end Guardia had won and established their kingdom, but the other clans like the Hendbar intermixed and lost their identity to the tides of time.
Marle swallowed, trying to bring some relief to her dry throat. Hendbar never had an empire.
Orbiana's lip twisted into a snarl. That is where you are wrong. We had an empire so vast and powerful that you couldn't possibly comprehend. She swept her arms dramatically outward. You are witness to all that is left. Nothing but a shadow.
What is this place and how did I get here? Marle met Orbiana's fierce stare head on, though she hardly felt confident.
This place is called the Darkness Beyond Time, and it is a graveyard.
Oh, yes. It is a graveyard for dead 'timelines'. It is unimaginably vast. Mostly I've been contained to my own empire, but there are ways to cross over to other worlds, just as dead as this one.
How does a world die? Marle asked, her curiosity overpowering her fear of the answer.
Orbiana smiled humorlessly. How do all worlds die? I don't know. How my own world died that I shall never forget.
To understand the death of my world you must first understand its birth. To do so you must relearn history. Nearly a thousand years before my birth Clan Hendbar defeated the lesser tribes and clans on Zenan. We did so because we were strong, and the others weak. Clan Hendbar rose to become the Hendbar Empire. The lesser clans, Nashintilla, Guardia, Jhornum, they became our slaves.
You shake your head because you dont yet understand. The history that you knew was wrong. At least initially. You see, we Hendbar made a very grave mistake upon winning the War of Succession. We showed the pathetic lesser clans mercy. Instead of wiping them out as we should have done, we let them persist. For near a millennium they served us well. You yourself have seen the palace they helped us build. More vast and mighty that anything your pathetic Kingdom has ever hoped to achieve.
The Imperial Palace took centuries to build. Without using your people as slaves would have taken longer, but that would have been worth the alternative. A slave was born, as the fates would have it, on the very same day as me. Unlike my own, his birth went by unnoticed, until he reached adulthood. This man, this slave his name was Demetrius Ashtear, and he murdered my world.
Marle shook her head again. She heard this womans words, but they didnt make any sense. Hendbar had been a rival clan, that had fallen in the Battle of the Bridge. Afterwards Guardia had established a kingdom, her kingdom. She opened her mouth to rebuke the woman, but was cut off my a stern glare.
You will keep silent, Orbiana commanded. As I said Demetrius Ashtear brought about the death of my Empire, of my entire world. As was customary he was granted no education. Slaves like him needed none, and any who stole an education secretly were punished severely. Their entire family stripped naked and whipped to death, before all the other slaves to see. This discouraged the other slaves from taking what was not rightfully theirs, and kept proper order and balance in our ever expanding Empire.
Ashtear ruined that order because he was born a freak. It would be arrogance to claim that he wasnt brilliant. While I revile him and his people I will acknowledge his mind. He stole our knowledge and educated himself. He was smart enough to grasp all of our collective knowledge and wisdom, he was even smart enough to expand on it, exponentially. Worst of all, he was smart enough to keep it secret. Not a single person, Hendbar, slave, or even in his own family knew of his brilliance. He played his part of an ignorant slave well, for a time, and then he started the Revolution.
It was simply called the Revolution, because there had never been one before it. Once a people was conquered we never gave them the chance of even attempting to reclaim their independence. Ashtear understood how people think and he stirred a fire within the minds of the slaves. Stoking it slowly over time, all the while training specific people in specific skills. Skills that were not forbidden to slaves, but skills that Ashtear could use as weapons. Under my very nose this slave trained an army and caused an uprising.
Orbiana smiled her humorless smile. A smile Marle had come to recognize as being void of anything save for evil. So this man, Demetrius, he overthrew your Empire? Killed it?
Stupid bitch, Orbiana snarled. Have you not listened to my words at all? The might of the Hendbar Empire was beyond compare! No army could defeat us. Especially not an army of slaves. Even though they wielded weapons crafted by the mind of that freak, and even though their minds had been poisoned by his words of hope, they were slaughtered. The rebellion ended after only a few short weeks. To prevent this from happening again we made an example of the Guardia slaves. We executed them all, every man, woman, child, infant even those who had not participated in the rebellion all of that filth erased from the world.
All except for Demetrius Ashtear. Somehow he escaped, the sole survivor of Guardia. We now knew of his brilliance, and none of us expected to capture him. Furthermore, our eradication of his people ensured that no other race of slaves would ever rise up against us. If he ever reappeared the slaves he preached to would be too terrified to listen. They likely would have killed him on the spot to spare their own race the Ashtear Fate. We knew this and he knew this. I believed that I would never hear of him again.
Exactly ten years from the date his people were destroyed, he returned. Orbiana shook her head, with a semblance of curiosity etched across her face. How he broke into the throne room we never knew, and I dont expect to ever learn, but enter he did. We all recognized him. Slightly aged though he was, his face was burned into our minds. We were stunned. I believed he had likely brought an explosive with him. One with enough power not only kill the Empress and her guard, but possibly strong enough to reduce the Imperial Palace to a pile of dust.
We all realized in that instant that he had spent the last decade planning his revenge. Some of my men might have assumed that assassinating me was the extent of his goal. I knew better, I knew that his mind was sharper than we had given him credit, but not even in my wildest nightmares could I have imagined just how smart that freak was. Just how deep his hatred for us ran, or how total his revenge would be.
He said to me, Empress you have wiped out my people, but you have underestimated my mind. If you knew what I was capable of you no doubt would have searched into every hole, and under every rock for me. I have come for my revenge. In a single stroke I shall bring my own people back, and wipe your people out. You my dear Empress will be allowed to watch. We laughed at him. A bomb was something a human mind could create. The greater the mind, the greater the bomb. But what he claimed was beyond ridiculous. He was still a man, not a god.
Then he pulled a small object from under his jacket. It resembled an egg, and seemed no more sinister than an egg. We laughed harder, and he even joined in. For an instant it seemed that his mind had cracked and he was now just a simple crazy man. Then he looked into my eyes and I saw his hate for me. In that instant I understood that he didnt merely boast. He spoke the truth. I watched in horror as the egg fell from his hand and crashed to the floor.
My world ended just like that. An egg shaped stone shattering on the marble floor of my throne room, and it was all gone. The palace was gone, replaced with flat un worked earth. We are in the past, he said to me. I programmed that time-egg specifically to send the two of us over one thousand years into our past. We have the same birthday, you and I, so it wasnt too difficult to arrange.
Then he produced a second time-egg. This one golden and said to me, This egg will ensure you do not interfere with me, and it will sentence you to your ultimate fate. I stood stunned as he struck me with the egg. It effected me in an odd way. I became insubstantial. I was like a ghost. I couldnt interact with the physical world anymore. Without any other option I followed him. And I watched helplessly as he placed explosives under the bridge that connected the upper and lower half of Zenan.
History unfolded before my eyes. The army of Guardia crossed the bridge and entered the final battle against Clan Hendbar. They were routed and sent retreating back across the bridge. Hendbar should have won that battle, but Ashtear lay hiding, and when the majority of Guardia had crossed and the majority of Hendbar was still on it, he detonated his bombs. The bridge fell, the Empire of Hendbar with it.
Time had been altered. Guardia went on to dominate the land that rightfully belonged to me. As for my fate, I was cursed to exist in the Darkness Beyond Time, along with the shadow of my Empire. That second egg he hit me with tied me to my home timeline, and it ensured that I kept my awareness. He imprisoned me for eternity, leaving me with only a single window into the real world. So I could watch his people prosper in the stead of my own.
Marles blood had run cold. Then how did I get here? Why am I in this Darkness Beyond Time with you?
Because my darling princess, Ashtear was as much of a fool as I. I gave him a decade to plot his revenge. He gave me an eternity. Though his mind was greater, I am not witless. That fool should have killed me when he could, instead he chose to make me suffer by making me immortal. I used that time to watch the flow of time, and learn things from the natives.
Natives? You mean people who live here? In this place? Marle asked.
More or less. People is a close enough term. They come from time to time, and they teach many things. Though I was a painfully slow learner, I had an endless amount of time to master the magic that they taught. And an equal amount of time to find a way out.
How do you plan on leaving? You told me that Ashtear trapped you here forever.
And so he did, but you can come and go. I learned that time isnt as stable as most believe. Time is altered and reshaped continually. The people who do this reshaping, the time travelers, are not effected by the changes they cause. Demetrius lived a long life even though the time he was born in was destroyed.
However, whenever a time traveler does something that should destroy their own existence they become slightly unstable, slightly less real than other people. Not permanently, but for a slight period they can pass between reality and the Darkness Beyond Time. Youre presence in the past has put your ancestry in danger, you my darling, became vulnerable to my grasp. With my magic it was a simple task of drawing you to me. An even simpler task will be that of possessing you, and when your friends fix the mistake with your ancestor and you become fully stable once again, I shall travel back to reality inside of you.
Marle took a defensive step back. Oh, dont worry, Orbiana simpered. When my mind is ripped from this prison the shock is likely going to render me unconscious for quite some time. I expect that youll have a few blissfully ignorant years to enjoy, before I am fully in control.
Isnt it obvious? You are royalty. I am royalty. I could have taken control of many other fools, but I dont want to just live free. I want to rule. I deserve to rule! I will show your weak kingdom how real power rules! Your kingdom has for too long been ruled by the weak. In me it will finally have a worthy Queen. And I shall use your body to bare myself a child. When it is finally time for your child to rule, and me to die, I will transfer myself into their body. For all Ages I will have the throne I was born to!
Youre crazy, Marle said. You cant have my body, and you wont have my kingdom. I I wont let you!
Strong words princess, unfortunately there is nothing you can do to stop me. You cant even move.
To her horror Marle realized that Orbiana was right she could no longer make her body do anything other than stand there. With grace fitting a Queen, Orbiana walked to Marle, and gently lifted her chin. For a moment Marle thought that she intended on kissing her, but before the two mouths met Orbiana stopped short. Instead of a kiss, Orbiana blew into Marles open mouth. After several minutes Orbianas body fell to the floor and turned to smoke.
Marle blinked. She turned to a large wooden dresser that sat next to the bed. On it sat a large mirror. She examined herself a moment, then dropped her dress to the floor, kicking it to the side. Her underclothes followed suit. After another moment of observation she spun, watching her body twirl in the glasss reflection.
A cold smile came to her lips. At least this bodys pretty enough. Yes, I think it will do nicely. After all it wouldnt do for the true ruler of Zenan to be ugly.
Guardia Castle, 1003 AD
Luccas arms burnt with the effort of supporting her weight. Her legs felt, if anything, worse. The guards had managed to put her in the most uncomfortable, unbearable position possible. The single day she had spent chained to the wall was agony worse than the previous weeks discomforts. Lucca found herself wanting her sentence to be passed, and for her execution to be carried out.
The sound of approaching footfalls brought her back to her senses. It was the first time she had been visited since they had chained her up. The next thing she noticed was that it wasnt the metallic clack of steel boots on stone floor. It was the lighter tapping of regular shoes on stone.
The visitor opened the gate and entered the cell, but it wasnt until she was within a foot of Luccas face that she could recognize her.
Lucca gulped back a sob. Marle, I would never poison your father! Please, you have to believe me. Id never do anything to her hurt you or your family! Luccas plea was equally a bid for her life and a sincere attempt to make her friend realize that she wouldnt ever try to kill her father. The thought of Marle thinking those things about her hurt just as bad as the chains that bound her wrists.
Instead of replying Marle smiled. A smile as perfectly cold as the prison cell she stood in. A hard open palmed slap caught Lucca by surprise. Before she could do anything but cry out a second slap followed. Marle rained blow upon blow onto Lucca without hesitation. Both forehand and backhand slaps whipping her head side to side.
When Marle finally ceased Luccas entire face was numb with agony. She could feel her own warm blood running copiously down her neck. If not for the new agony the heat might almost have felt good. Lucca opened her mouth to speak, but the only thing that came out was a weak plea of, Stop
Marle struck again splattering Luccas blood onto the magically chilled stone wall. Stop? Stop? Oh no, after all the pain your pathetic bloodline has caused me I have no intention of stopping.
Marles next blow was to Luccas stomach. It was so fierce that the air was violently ripped from her lungs, causing her to choke on her own blood. You have the same damned eyes. The same damned hair as him. The same damned mind. The fates have cruelly kept him out of my reach. Im afraid that bastard Demetrius will be forever safe from me, but the fates have at least delivered you to me. The obvious descendant of the damned Ashtear line.
She roughly gripped Luccas hair and slammed her head back into the wall. The pain was tremendous, but the blow hadnt been near enough to knock her out. I dont understand. Lucca managed with a monumental effort.
You dont need to understand, bitch. Marle hit Lucca again with savage pleasure. It is enough for you to know that I was wronged, and now Im taking my just vengeance out on you.
Fine, Lucca sobbed, through her pain and confusion she just wanted it to end. Beat me to death then.
Oh youll die by my hands, be assured of that. Marle said, the venom of her words was nearly as painful as her physical blows. But dont go thinking it will be quick. Ive waited a very long time for revenge. I plan on breaking you so thoroughly that even hell will be a reprieve.
Im sure youve been very cold these last several days. After all the only way to safely keep you in this cell was by freezing it with magic. Gingerly running her hand down Luccas bloody and bruised face, Marle smiled wickedly. But Im sure this dungeon holds many prisoners whod more than love to keep a pretty girl like yourself nice and warm.
Lucca coughed as she choked in surprise. No. She shook her head weakly. Marle no you cant A single look into Marles eyes convinced Lucca otherwise. This was no empty threat. Each of Marles poisoned words was a deadly promise.
Oh, I can and I will. Marle laughed. It was hideous and cold, nothing like the bubbly happy laugh Lucca used to associate with her friend. Im sure the prisoners will find you to be a most suitable whore. Ill wait until youve run out of ways to be humiliated and tortured. Until, you no longer have any care about yourself, until Ive broken your will to live so much that you stop caring about what they do to you.
Then I have a nasty feeling that your orphanage might meet a bad accident. It will be a truly awful thing for you to watch. The home you once knew burning down. Your parents and all those children trapped inside. Im sure their screams will haunt you for the rest of your pathetic life. Fortunately, for you it wont go on much longer than that. I figure that by then nothing I can do will mater much to you anymore, so Ill finish you off.
Marles grin widened. Maybe Ill freeze your limbs off and watch you writhe in agony until you breath your last.
Luccas eyes shone with the most sincere terror she had ever felt in her life. You cant please do anything to me just leave my parents and the children alone please, you cant not Kid
See this is my I told you instead of keeping it a surprise. Now you wont be looking forward to it all ending. Now youll be that much harder to break, and my revenge will taste all the sweeter. Believe me Ashtear, I have spoken every word true. This is your future.
Luccas horror was so complete that she never heard the boot falls of the approaching soldiers until they were entering the cell. Marle looked momentarily surprised by their arrival. The surprise was replaced with her ice cold smile. Why not start now, Ashtear? In a single savage movement Marle ripped open Luccas thin shirt, sending buttons clattering across the silent cell, with another yank Luccas pants fell to the floor leaving Lucca hanging exposed in only her bra and panties.
I know I promised you prisoners, but I think Ill let these soldiers start you out. After all theyve served me very loyally, and I reward loyalty. Marle turned to the soldiers. Im sure you three can manage the rest of her clothes yourself. Do not worry for in here you break no laws. She is a criminal, and has forfeited all rights. Do with her as you please.
Lucca shut her eyes tight with dread as the first knight approached. By his size she could tell it was Eric. She tried desperately not to think of what they would do to her. About what they would do to the orphanage. She flinched as he gripped her arm and unlocked her shackles. He supported her weight as she fell into his big arms. She supposed hed lay her on the bed next. She loathed what was coming next, but couldnt find the strength, or a reason, to fight back.
Arrest Princess Nadia, at once. Eric said in very tight strained voice. He put Lucca gently onto the bed in a sitting position, undid the fastens on the cape he wore around his armored shoulders, and draped it around hers. Lady Lucca please accept my apologies. I know you must be scared and confused, but its all over now.
What are you doing! Marle shrieked. I gave you your orders, fool! She turned to the other two soldiers. Kill the traitor and rape the woman! Or are you too dense to understand simple words?
Eric sharply issued his own commands to his subordinates. Arrest the princess now. Immediately restrain her before she can cause anymore harm.
The knights each seized one of Marles arms and began dragging her down the hallway. Were sorry princess, but youre not yourself right now, the prince will be back soon and hell put things right.
They left Luccas limited field of vision quickly, but she could hear Marles shrieks and curses continue as they drug her further down the hall. Whats going on? She weakly asked.
Eric produced her glasses from a leather pouch on his side and slid them onto Luccas face. I had these fixed for you Princess Nadia has gone mad. Prince Crono has seen this coming for a while and is trying to find a way to help her. A message arrived earlier stating hed be returning to the castle today. Hopefully, he is back soon. Things are very quickly going out of control.
Lucca shook her head. I dont understand? Im not being tried for treason? And whats wrong with Marle? Wheres Crono? Now that it seemed her doom wasnt impending she found it much easier to think.
Eric sighed. The charge of treason was the excuse Princess Nadia was using to treat you this way. As for whats wrong with her, Im afraid I dont really know. Something to do with magic I believe. The Prince has been gone trying to find a way to fix Princess Nadia. Im sorry but I dont know any other details.
What about Marles magic? Lucca asked.
The prince secured the three of us special armor. Its made to be resistant to ice magic. Before leaving he told us if it ever went this far to put it on and immediately arrest Princess Nadia. Eric pointed to where the other two knights held the thrashing Marle. See, her magic cant harm us, much as how your magic couldnt harm us when we wore her enchanted armor.
With her glasses on Lucca could see that Eric spoke the truth. Bluish ice magic blazed around Marle like an aura, yet both knights remained unharmed. Then in the blink of an instant the aura changed. Lucca felt the magic morph from the familiar tingle of Marles water element, to darker shadow element. As far as Lucca knew a change like this shouldnt be able to happen.
Razor sharp blades of dark magic burst from Marles body like spikes. Blood gushed from the two knights as they cried out in pain and surprise. The dark spikes vanished and the two soldier crashed to the floor. Bloody and dead.
Eric turned and ran through the cell gate, but a flick of Marles hand caused the stone floor in front of Luccas cell to freeze over with a miniscule layer of ice. The knight captain slipped in his haste and crashed to the floor, his head landing hard enough to render him unconscious.
Did you think youd been saved Ashtear? Marle called from down the hall. That your knights in shining armor had arrived to save you from your cruel fate? Well your wrong, because everything I promised you, I will ensure happens!
Before Marle had finished her first sentence Lucca had raced out the door. She took care to not slip on the ice and stood her ground behind the comatose body of Captain Eric. Instantly upon leaving the cell she could feel the warmth of her inner magic light up. The feeling was relief beyond imagining.
Marle stretched her arms out, summoning the power of her magic. Lucca summoned her own, but to her dread found that it had been severely weakened by the time spent in the cell. Still she focused her will on the air a few feet in front of Eric. Using her magic she caused the air molecules increase speed until a barrier a super heated air wavered in front of them.
A burst of artic wind rushed from Marles hands. Crashing into Luccas heat barrier. Lucca gritted her teeth as she felt the air molecules slow down due to the cold assault. Using every ounce of her willpower Lucca kept the barrier up. Despite her best efforts the barrier shrank second by second. One on one Lucca had never challenged Marle in a contest of power before. Even under normal circumstances Lucca was unsure of who would win that encounter, and these were not normal circumstances. Lucca knew she was at a massive disadvantage. Marle was fresh for the fight. She was not. If anything she was weaker than she ever remembered being.
Fear and adrenaline alone kept her feeble defense up against Marles pressing onslaught. The source of the icy wind stepped closer and closer, as Luccas barrier shrank from being nearly two feet wide to mere inches. Marle paused for a half step to charge her powers for a single mighty blow.
Lucca watched as the wave of magic rushed down the hall, covering the walls, ceiling, and floor in a sheet of glassy ice. The barrier broke as soon as the wave of ice made impact. The blast launched Erics body into the air and into Lucca, knocking her to the now ice covered floor. She struggled against Erics dead weight, but in her weakened state she had little hope of moving a grown man in full armor.
Go ahead and fight, Ashtear. Marle taunted as she approached. Fight. Plead. Cry. Struggle against me. It makes it all the sweeter to watch you finally break.
Guardia Forest, 1003 AD
The midday sun sparkled off of Cronos royal tunic. After leaving Nokk he had changed back into his official clothing. The time for disguises was over, the time for desperate action was upon him. He rode on his own horse, surrounded by mounted knights. In the middle of the procession were several wagons which held supplies. One of the wagons held something very special.
A lone rider raced on horseback to greet them. The hair on the back of Cronos neck stood up. Something seemed wrong in the way the man rode. It was too frantic, too panicked. The rider came to a halt in front of the procession. Crono recognized the man. He was one of Captain Eric Storksons men. Cronos blood froze.
Your Highness, Captain Storkson told me to ride until I found you. I just left the castle. He said to tell you that the last resort is in play.
Instantly Crono spun to his second in command. Take the mirror into the main lobby, keep it surrounded with guards. Do not let anything, anything, happen to it. He pointed next the knight riding to his left. Get the other mirror and take it to mine and the princesss room. Make sure it sees the other mirror on the way up. Guard it in the room and wait for me.
As the men rushed to their jobs Crono rode out to the messenger. Where are they right now?
The Captain was heading to the dungeons, Your Highness. To the prisoner Lucca Ashtears cell.
Crono didnt let the shock of the statement slow his thinking. Why is Lucca in prison?
Princess Nadia had her arrested for poisoning the King, Your Highness.
Crono blanched. It was worse than he had thought. He had been positive that he had more time, and if anything were to happen to Lucca because of his own miscalculation
He shook his head. He could regret any mistakes made once this was all over, but for now he had no time. Crono kicked his horse in the sides, sending it into a full run. The minute it took for him to reach the castle seemed to take hours.
Once inside soldiers and servants alike scattered before him. The sight of their prince sprinting at full speed through the castle, catching them off guard. Crono mentally grabbed the part of his mind that controlled his magic. And released a steady flow into his muscles. He could feel them fill with extra power and his body speed up. He took the stairs at a full sprint without breaking a stride.
Once he reached the long walkway that led to the prison area he could feel both of their powers. Marles familiar water element was glowing at full force, and the pollution it contained had grown many times over since he had left. Luccas fire element on the other hand was frighteningly weak. Then to his horror it disappeared completely.
Crono pushed his body past its limits, forcing his muscles to accept magical boosts far greater than what was safe. The journey happened in a blur. Door after door vanished behind him as surprised guards and prisoners alike gasped as he rushed by. Marles magic guided him like a beacon, until he reached the final door. Since the prison wasnt operating at full capacity not all of the cell blocks were in use. This was one of the empty ones, or at least should have been.
Before reaching the door Crono already had his hands on the hilt of his katana. He drew his blade and sent it in an upward arc with one lightning fast movement. The magic glow his body gave off caused the blade to sparkle with brilliant rainbow light. The steel door was no match for Cronos magic or his sword. With a deafening metallic screech it ripped in two and clanged down the hall way.
In the front of the hall two knights lay dead, at the other end Marle stood over Lucca and Captain Storkson. Marle spun around when he entered a look of stunned shock on her face. C-Crono, theyve rebelled against me! Against us! Lucca was one of them. She has betrayed us both!
Crono stood still as a statue for a moment as he stared down at her. Marle if youre still in there, please forgive me. He raised a single arm and pointed at her. Before she could say or do anything a bolt of white hot lightning erupted across the long hallway.
All That Glitters Is Cold 4 Fanfic Competition
This Page © Copyright 1997, Brian Work. All rights reserved. Thanks to Sax for his help with the layout. Do not take anything from this page without my consent. If you wish to contact an author, artist, reviewer, or any other contributor to the site, their email address can be found on their index page. This site is link-free, meaning you don't need to ask me if you'd like to link to it. Best viewed in 1024x768.