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Thread: The Lost Century

  1. #1
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    Dedicated to the people of Haiti, in the hope of a better future.


    Index (+ Alt Text)

    Section 1/3

    01 - Presented as you like it by a petrification, Tsar of Haiti's search of lost time
    02 - 1836 Louverture, Al and Jarry, Kubla Khan't, as the Crowley flies
    03 - Dreams of the vast Sargasso Sea interrupted by Foucault's meow, someone's playing truant
    04 - There are links hidden in the text, follow and discover the twenty seven pathways to enlightenment
    05 - Louverture was not mad, raga man, there was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt
    06 - They said I was mad, MAD!
    07 - Does it count as deus ex machina? He's not really a god. If history is lost, you must make it anew
    08 - Poor old Albert has become an unperson. She should shun the frumious Bandersnatch
    09 - The Bonny situation, don't go Russian into anything

    10 - It was done using chocolate bar wrappers and an empty packet of crisps
    11 - Has anyone ever had a good Doppelgänger? Send answers to a random address on a postcard.
    12 - It's just a load of hot air. Trickster's just one of his guises.
    13 - / - .... . / -.. .. ...- .. -.. . -.. / -- .- -. / .-- .. .-.. .-.. / -... .-. . .- -.- / - .... . / ... .--. . .-.. .-.. /
    14 - A guard tries to fight fate; it's quite sad really.
    15 - Strangers, wild west, mysteries, oh my!
    16 - Stories within stories that twist and wind and come alive! Sorry, Jorge.
    17 - Sitting beside you, just out of sight, can't relax or get away. Who is her accomplice?
    18 - No escape from her history. The best ship yet

    19 - This isn't going to end well
    20 - Cruel or kind, it's on the tip of my tongue, slipping off the edge of my mind.
    21 - Look at all those mythology references! It's like a symbolic orgy of...stuff.
    22 - What's his name? Nnnng. It's like a game of hide and seek.
    23 - The chronicles long forgotten remembered, an old seadog shows her true colours.
    24 - Paradise or wilderness, wilderness and paradise? Good people do bad things, sometimes
    25 - They have to be named after American states (and their pets). It's the Law.
    26 - It's in the sky, the air, the sea, it's all around us. It can be seen when the lights go out.
    27 - Hurrah for arbitrary subdivisions. Psychosis neurosis psychosis neurosis.

    Section 2/3

    28 - No country for anyone any more, guardian angels or guardian demons - one and the same?
    29 - The electricity fails, the Grid collapses, and we are bathed in candlelight.
    30 - It might work out well in Narnia, but this is Haiti.
    31 - Silver merely shines in the reflected glory of gold. Sunday is holy day.
    32 - Fight the sun! It's hard when there are no clouds...
    33 - When things are looking bad, you can always count on them to somehow get even worse.
    34 - One might say she's also been turned into a type of bird.
    35 - It's like those mirrors that reflect to infinity...
    36 - Maybe her grip on reality is too good?

    37 - She spent most of her time reading tvtropes.org rather than doing the paperwork.
    38 - That thirty eight is creeping me out, seriously make it go away! Aargh!
    39 - Someone is discovering that sometimes gambles really don't pay off.
    40 - It turns out she's like, totally a cosmic emo or something!
    41 - .sdrawkcab lla s'ti lleh eht tahW Mirror?
    42 - This one's worthy of deep thought
    43 - That's interesting, that's very interesting...
    44 - xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    45 - It's best not to waste these opportunities

    46 - There's nowhere to run when the monsters are in your head
    47 - Someone knows what was written, despite the puzzle of the glyphs
    48 - If he had been Haitian he wouldn't have even noticed she was gone
    49 - Those Mayan calendar numbers add up to 70, and 49 is 70% of 70! OMG
    50 - They say that with the lights out, it's less dangerous.
    51 - Six might give some clues here. Circe shall conquer the truth.
    52 - This update is not false. The only choice is blue.
    53 - I need sleep, I sleep need, urrgh.
    54 - Uchronic madness, wait so hmm, that's a bit odd, don't you say?

    Section 3/3

    55 - Third of three commencing
    56 - Your wish is my command....just be careful, very very careful
    57 - my pary is with the father, I'm truley sorry for your lots
    58 - Just some stuff with factories etc, plus Somalia for some reason
    59 - All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again
    60 - All is fair in love and cliffhangers
    61 - The cold embrace of the sea, the wine dark sea...
    62 - Sometimes the world is a vial place...vial place, geddit? Ah forget it.
    63 - She could not die and we never found out why

    64 - Nan fen a, renmen nan ou fè ki egal a renmen nan ou pran.
    65 - Constantia is also a port of the Black Sea, in Romania. Which is nice.
    66 - It's those silly numbers again. All through your life, 369, 369, 369.
    67 - The ungrateful dead, dead tired and running out of time.
    68 - There are no lions in the Scottish highlands after all.
    69 - It's probably a good thing that Molly doesn't appear in this particular chapter.
    70 - Nope, can't think of anything to put here
    71 - Still can't think of anything...oh yes, merry yuletide!
    72 - Circe is going to be the hostess with the mostest!

    73 - Bad is good when bad is done to be purposefully bad. I think. Or not.
    74 - Fee fie foe fum, I smell the blood of a...Haitian woman?
    75 - Ooh now that's a bit of a spanner in the old works, isn't it now?
    76 - Conquering the sun is not as easy as all that, fool!
    77 - The future is not ours to see, que sera, sera, blah blah blah
    78 - It's not over, not over, not over, not over yet! Just 3 (hehe) left to go.
    79 - The imminent finishing of the infinite and the eternal, of which this is the first part of two.
    80 - The imminent finishing of the infinite and the eternal, of which this is the second part of two.
    81 - Forget about the world and listen to the birdsong, poo-tee-weet, poo-tee-weet
    Last edited by Fiftypence; 16-03-2011 at 00:54. Reason: 27

  2. #2
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    The clue is in the name, you'll be surprised!

    1


    The Lost Century
    As Presented by the Pebble who has heard God




    Oh time, whose vile hand led you astray?

    In putting forth this work, I, known to you only as the Pebble, seek not only to enlighten but to confuse, as is the nature of things such as this.

    Alas, in the great scheme of things, I am but a bit player on the world‘s stage. But here, as I straddle the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead, I see all that happens and has happened, and so feel that I am the best person to present this narrative on the search for the history of Haiti between the years of 1836 and 1936, what I have termed "the lost century".

    How and why this particular hundred years was lost, or indeed holds any significance, remains a mystery, to me at least. The question that springs to mind, of course, is- how in heaven and earth do you lose an entire century? It seems absurd, but I can tell you it is possible, if the century is hidden, rather than merely forgotten. But who would go to all that trouble to hide a hundred years, and why? And more to the point, how? What terrible secret lies buried in those years?

    Funnily enough, it is in the year of 2008 that someone else begins to ask these very same questions again. Paradoxically, that is also when I am writing these words, which means that some of the events I shall recount may not have happened yet. One chapter of the tale begins three months from now, as a young man called Pierre le Grand walks alone deep in the bowels of the magnificent Hall of Records in the shimmering metropolis of Port-au-Prince, on a great quest in search of this lost time. Pierre was (or should I say shall be) an inquisitive man by nature, but also a man who believed strongly in tradition, with skin like the cloudy midnight sky and eyes so fierce that they saw into the very soul of anyone they happened to gaze upon. The corridor he walked down echoed with each step, and there was a sense of urgency about him that would have seemed odd to anyone who knew him. Pierre was normally as calm as a sea breeze, but at that moment a raging storm was brewing inside him. I can tell you now that this was because it was night time, and he was most certainly not supposed to be in the Secret Vault of the Hall of Records. In his hand he clutched a slip of crumpled paper, which read in scrawled handwriting,

    It is called

    "The Great Mystery of Haitian History - An inquiry into the missing century by Albert Louverture, historian, scientist and ‘pataphysician*."

    Look in Row 27, The Secret Vault. Be careful! x
    In his other hand he held a flashlight, and used the paper to cover the bulb so that it emitted a strange, eerie but more importantly dim light. He stopped dead, thinking he saw movement in the shadows. His heart pounding like a dynamo, he stood still and silent for a moment before continuing, straining his eyes looking for what he was searching for.

    After a few minutes of slow meandering amid the many rows of dusty highly stacked shelves and cabinets, he came to a stop and carefully slid open a draw. He allowed the flashlight full light, and hurriedly flicked through the documents until he came to what he was looking for. The manuscript, yellowing and stained with age, was much thinner than he had been expecting, and for a brief gut-wrenching moment worried he had the wrong document before wiping off the years of accumulated dust and checking the title. This was it.

    "Now, to escape unnoticed," he said, unwrenching his gut.

    Well actually he didn't say that, but that's what I would have said in the same situation because it would have sounded totally cool. Instead he just sneaked out of that grotesque marvel of modern architecture, and when he got home began reading with unbridled fascination.
    __________________

    *Actually, everything written by Albert Louverture included some kind of rhyme in the title - see The Spark in the Quark**, a study into the Bowels of Owls, Damn Fine Cherry Pie etc.


    **Quark in this sense being used in the way Joyce used it, intended to rhyme with mark.
    Last edited by Fiftypence; 20-12-2010 at 09:12.

  3. #3
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Hati? This should be good. I tried a Hati game not to far back and it was highly enjoyable! Hope you have as much fun


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    Imam Of The House in Imp. Off. Herbert West's Avatar
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    Your style is interesting, to say the least. I like the mix of seriousness and lighter humor.

    Do you have any ingame goals, apart from staying alive?

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    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    I do like a good fiftypence AAR. Hopefully as you say this one will last.
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  6. #6
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    An excellent start! I will most certainly be staying with this one!
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  7. #7
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    "The Golden Twigs" is a book by Aleister Crowley. It has no significance at all

    2
    After having returned to his apartment without attracting any unwanted attention, Pierre le Grand made himself a cup of black coffee and opened the stolen manuscript at page twenty seven. He began reading, with just the table lamp for light.
    It is also curious that our schools do not teach history, but rather something called “historical analysis”. I scarcely remember my school days, but I have taken it upon myself to study this particular discipline and have found it remarkably lacking in substance.

    For instance, in the teaching of Napoleon - students learn that a man named Napoleon existed in the past, but his deeds are remarkably skimmed over, and instead much weight is put into studying modern (ie post 1936) era texts that contain references to the French emperor. Thus, what should be a study of history becomes more a case of textual analysis of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and other such works, although it should be noted that Orwell‘s celebrated novel is more a critique of Stalinism than a study of the Little General. The children learn not when Napoleon lived, nor anything else related to the man’s life. At least, not directly.

    It is my belief that this indirect approach to history is designed as a form of conditioning, a concept so eloquently outlined by Ivan Pavlov and his marvellous observations of his dogs. It avoids and obfuscates the issue, and means that a genuine understanding of history as past events is impossible. Rather, all history is deliberately interpreted through the lens of the modern, and thus no true appreciation of the past can form in the minds of Haiti’s impressionable youth. The past is presented as an illusion, stood upon stilts in the shifting sands of a bleak wasteland; the past has no meaning or significance beyond its influence on the present.

    This love of the modern can be seen in Port-au-Prince, with the startling architecture of the Hall of Records. It is a stern, commanding building, and was described by the prominent social critic Roy Oubou as “Stalin’s wet dream”. It is true that reports from the Kremlin have indicated that Stalin did indeed-

    * A FEW PAGES REMOVED *

    -apple trees of Provence, which filled me with much delight in the years I spent in France. It was there I came across the Franco-Italian Cyclopedia of Modern History, wherein I found no direct mention of Haiti or that nation‘s history, but there was mention of a novel with a plot synopsis that I found of great interest, under the entry for Alternative History. In this novel, for some queer reason named Beyond the Golden Twigs, written by Marcel Santeuil, the author outlines a shady cartel who keep from view ten years of French history through subtle manipulation for their own selfish reasons, and this made me wonder if Santeuil was familiar with Haiti’s lost years. As it turned out this particular work had been out of print for many years, and as hard as I searched I came across no other mention of it, not even in the National Archives of Paris. I briefly wondered if it would be possible to track down the individual who had contributed this particular entry to the Cyclopedia, but found no mention of who this was. All I have is a 1955 compendium of articles featured in the newspapers compiled by the Fortean Society, which features a sensationalist story from a British tabloid newspaper about certain individuals who can alter time in amazing and unbelievable ways, but it is frustratingly and unsurprisingly vague when it comes to the actual details.

    My time in Europe was mostly fruitless (apart from the apple trees, of course!), and I was amazed to find that no scholarly work on the history of Haiti had come out of Oxford or any other university of note, simply due to the lack of available source material. It had become quite clear that the history of my nation had simply been lost or forgotten, and there was no interest in recovering it. It is quite stunning that the millions of people who lived between 1836 and 1936 left no written record, quite unbelievable. Indeed, it is so unbelievable that I simply do not believe it - these writings existed, but have since been removed by some sinister hand. There must be enough forgotten or destroyed works to fill a library. Why anyone would want to do such a thing remains unknown to me, the motive for such a total and systematic erasure of history seem quite impenetrable. But there is no doubt in my mind that this is what really happened.

    Of course my ideas seem absurd, but I can come to no other conclusion but to implicate the government of Haiti in this whitewash of history. Why each subsequent democratically elected government would-

    * MANY PAGES REMOVED *

    -and drunk the milk of paradise.

    Pierre put it down, feeling somewhat perplexed. Albert Louverture had confirmed his suspicions, and he was at a loss as to what to do next. Trying to hunt down those missing pages was tempting, but he had no idea where to even begin. It was quite clear that whoever had removed them did not want them found.

    He found himself deeply fascinated but also deeply frustrated with the mystery. All those years, all those people. What really happened? Why do this? He wondered if it was possible to speak to Louverture in person, and decided that discovering his fate would be his next line of enquiry.

    And then there were the notes scrawled on the side of the page. Pierre assumed they were by Louverture, but there was no way to confirm this as the main body of text was typed. The annotation that Pierre noticed in particular read “No Life in Sargasso!!”, written almost mockingly in red ink down the length of the margin of page twenty seven. He knew about the almost lifeless Sargasso Sea of course, but its relevance was not at this time apparent, nor was the need for the vulgar double exclamation.

    “If only I could speak with the dead…” he said idly, taking a sip of coffee.

    I smiled.
    Last edited by Fiftypence; 20-04-2009 at 04:28.

  8. #8
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    robou: Thanks, I hope so too.

    Herbert West: My main goal is to make Haiti a powerful, prosperous industrial nation. Military expansion is possible, but not the main objective.

    stnylan: Hopefully!

    democratickid: Thanks, I hope you do.

  9. #9
    Grudgemungler Pietbont's Avatar
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    Ah, no plans on expansion. So youre planning to get lots of immigration to work on your factories?

  10. #10
    Plus ultra! Capibara's Avatar
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    Nice start, I like your style. Haiti is certainly an interesting country.
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  11. #11
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Well i went Conquering china but this is another road to success!


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  12. #12
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    I smell a conspiracy!
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  13. #13
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    We'll see if this mystery writer has anything to tell us, or maybe he is insane from persecution at the hands of Hatian authorities!?!?!?!?!


    Excellent! Keep it up!
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  14. #14
    Heartbreaker canonized's Avatar
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    Well My dear favourite denomination of coin , I just started reading your latest project . Partly because I still have the memory of that glass rose in my head that you left un-resolved , you silly goon ! haha , but also because I truly do believe you have a talent that you overlook and that your writing is a gem for AARland . I'll keep you posted on my progress though considering you just started , chances are you'll probably abandon this by the time I reach the working end , har har har XD . In all seriousness I also wanted to put my opening comment to help encourage you on your way since I really do have big hopes for your narrative prowess and your wit .

    Oh , and let's not forget that I blatantly am obliged to read one of my faithful readers' AARs now that they've returned ! But you can hardly blame me for that , eh ? XD

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  15. #15
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    Fascinating introduction. I have to say that its been a long time since I was so intrigued by an AAR's opening and premise. Perhaps its just my own interest in history and its perception (you've mentioned Animal Farm so I expect Winston's ponderings on this topic from 1984 to follow...) but I will be keeping a close eye on this effort

    One thing I did find slightly jarring however was the occasional use of modern lingo - such as "totally cool" or "Stalin's wet dream" - that does seem somewhat out of place in the narrative. But then I get distracted by guessing the significance of the number 27
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  16. #16
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    Pietbont: Expansion is very possible, just not the main focus. In fact, I guarantee at least a couple of wars.

    Capibara: It is indeed. Tricky, too.

    robou: Ah, well I have a rule that I never take attack China, Japan or Korea unless I can justify it historically. Africa, on the other hand...

    stnylan: That would appear to be the case, but it might not be that simple.

    demokratickid: Albert's fate shall soon become apparent.

    canonized: Yeah, I kinda forgot the plot for that one. Thanks for reading.

    Comrade Om: Thanks, I find it interesting too. The story is being narrated in 2008, albeit an alternative one, so some modern lingo is inevitable.

    Sorry no update just yet, but it will be coming soon (ie tomorrow hopefully)!

  17. #17
    Remember Carcosa! Fiftypence's Avatar
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    A hall of records or numbers or spaces still undone

    3
    It was tomorrow, and it was another roasting July day in the metropolis of Port-au-Prince. Pierre sat at his desk, and as he sipped on a cup of milky coffee and flicked through his e-mails. The apartment where he lived was stylishly sparse, mostly white, and there was not a spot of dust or dirt to be seen. The air conditioning kept Pierre cool and refreshed, and he knew better than to open the sliding glass doors that led out onto the balcony even though he enjoyed the sounds of the city. It was best not to let the heat in he found.

    He felt a brush against his legs, and looked down into the eyes of a hungry cat.

    “Eco, I fed you already,” he muttered. The aging Siamese cat let out a yelp, but Pierre paid him no attention despite the feline’s stare. There were 9 new e-mails, and after the first couple he got a good idea of what the rest contained.

    I’m not one to judge, being somewhat timeless myself, but it is not often that people forget their own birthday. But that is exactly what Pierre had done. He felt quite foolish, but as he skimmed through the list of senders there was a noticeable absence.

    It had been three months since he had heard from her. She had been offered an opportunity of a lifetime, a year in West Africa working as an archaeologist on a recently discovered temple complex built maybe by a previously unknown civilisation, and Pierre could not stand in her way despite his reservations. She had promised to keep in regular contact, but since the teary departure there had been not even an e-mail, let alone a phone call. Pierre had contacted the University, but had received reassurances that everything was fine, and the dig was continuing as planned.

    But then, he thought sadly, beautiful Marissa Yaroslavich could be very focussed. But even so, not hearing word even on his birthday could not help but set the alarm bells ringing. She wouldn’t have forgotten surely. He sighed, and wearily flicked through the other mails. They were all rather standard happy birthday messages, from his parents and some other people who actually remembered, except for one spam e-mail offering something Pierre knew he did not need.

    The last message was from Stephan Neumarche, Pierre’s oldest friend.
    Pierre,

    Hey happy birthday! Now well and truly in the wrong end of the twenties, lol! I’m gonna be spending some time in the St. Peter Café at the Hall of Records, got some reading to do, if you come along I’ll buy you a coffee. I’ve also got something quite interesting to show you. Come along anytime from one o’clock.

    Stephan.

    Pierre stood up, intrigued. Stephan had a way of understating things, so Pierre knew that when he described something as interesting then it was completely fascinating, to him at least. He gazed out of the glass doors over the pristine city of Port-au-Prince, his eyes could not help but be drawn to the Hall of Records. The towering structure was mostly an enigma, the only part of the building being open to the public being the ground floor, which contained a maze of arcades containing shops, cafes, the Haitian Library and the National Museum amongst other things. Since its construction it had become the hub of city life, but despite that most of the building remained strictly off limits for the majority of city-dwellers. He often dreamt of sneaking inside, of looking in the fabled Secret Vault, but knew he never would. He was also very confident that he would never steal any dusty, yellowing manuscripts with crucial pages removed written by eccentric academics. It was strange, but the building had a way of getting under one's skin, it seemed to seep into one's soul.

    Pierre checked his watch. It was a while till one, so he fed Eco and had a nap.

    While Pierre sleeps, let me tell you about something interesting about Haiti. It has been established that a hundred years of Haitian history is missing, but what of the history we do know about? Well, let me tell you.

    The island of Hispaniola was originally inhabited by Taino Arawak people, until the arrival of Europeans. The western part was taken by France, and the east was Spanish, and had an economy of sugar and coffee, driven by the labour of West African slaves.

    The French Revolution led to much upheaval, and this period saw the rise of Haitian national hero François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture (whose name literally translated as “all the saints awakening“, incidently), but it was Jean-Jacques Dessalines that defeated the French at the Battle of Vertrieres and secured Haitian independence. Initially it was divided into a kingdom in the north and a republic in the south, but the island was united by Jean Pierre Boyer who also conquered the Spanish part of the island. It is during Boyer’s long reign as dictator that the historical record comes to an abrupt halt at the end of 1835.

    It resumes in 1936, with Haiti as a prosperous, industrialised regional power.

    As Pierre slept, a young pilot in the Haitian Airforce out on a routine patrol spotted a lone, lifeless rowboat drifting in the Sargasso Sea.
    Last edited by Fiftypence; 03-09-2008 at 12:30.

  18. #18
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Mmm, I wonder what the rowboat symbolises?
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  19. #19
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    "Something quite interesting"? Sounds... well, interesting
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  20. #20
    On Probation Jooce's Avatar
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    A Fiftypence Haiti AAR?

    Consider me subscribed.

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