|On 18/06/2005 P.N. wrote:
>Our swashbuckling hero had been stuck in Arabia, chasing locals from one
>end of the desert to the other. It had been six years since he had spoken
>English, even longer since he had tied into a rope and done battle with
>that, the most trying adversary - the mountain environment.
>He sat down at the desk, wiped dust off the PC screen and logged on. Amazingly,
>the password still worked after all these years.....He took a long swig
>from a Fosters. He winced with the familiar taste of Australia's worst
>export, distained by true Australians in favour of a VB or a Carlton. Fosters
>had been designed for the American market, which favoured lighter, watered-down
>versions of the full flavoured lagers that were enjoyed back home. Some
>things never change, he chuckled, and crunched the tin can with his left
>fist before throwing it into the waste-paper bin on the other side of the
>The pile of climbing gear - ice axes, snowstakes, crampons, ropes and
>rock boots - lay on the ground in the corner of the office, under an old
>surfboard, where he had left it so many years ago. He picked up the ice
>axe and made a few air swings, recalling the satisfaction of a solid placement
>in the ice - you could hang your whole body weight off the single tip of
>the axe if you placed it properly.
>He cracked open another Fosters and took a look out the window through
>the blinds. The afternoon had grown long, the sun was sitting low in the
>sky and the wind had picked up over the ocean. A lone yacht plowed through
>the breaks a few hundred metres offshore, keeling heavily to starboard
>as gusts carried its main sail. Seagulls milled around on the boardwalk
>in anticipation of the foodscraps that would invariably come their way
>from the many seaside bars and grills.
>He eased back into the chair and took another sip of the bitter tasting
>beer, going down much better now after the initial shock, and logged on
>The beer was quickly slammed down...."Wha? Damn you Hexy!!!!"
>There would be a lot of work to do......
>It had been years since he had last checked email. When a stray bullet
>had taken out the sat phone there had been no option to get online in the
>desert. As a result the email inbox was full of unread messages. The most
>disturbing was an email from Michael, an old mate in Australia.
>>"P, I need your help, Hex has taken over Chockstone. He's now reached
>100,000 posts, most of them to himself, only a few of them climbing related.
>As you know, we'd been trying to set up Chockstone based on Neilo's original
>premise - an informative and friendly site for people to browse through,
>catch up on the latest climbing news, buy gear and pick up technical tips
>from more experienced climbers. All this was going great guns until Havashatwithexy
>came into force. It's taken over Chockstone, we don't know what to do.
>Please help! I've gotta go now!! Nothings safe any more...."
>He leaned back in his chair, now onto the third beer, and took a deep
>breath. He shuddered to think of the situation back in Victoria, Australia.
>He opened the drawer of the desk and looked down at the standard issue
>Browning 9mm, waiting patiently in it's holster. Eager for service once
>more - her majesty's secret service. The Browning was often called the
>disco gun as it was easily concealed and with silencer a shot would be
>barely audible in a noisy bar or disco. It had come into vogue during the
>so-called cold war - when every man and his dog was walking around Washington
>thinking he was James Bond replete with pistol, listening device and coder.
>He took another long swig from the beer and thought to himself - shite,
>there isn't much time.....
>Edited by Admin to remove an offensive term. 29/6/05