Nov 10, 2008

Càit a bheil the 'dol?

author's note: fully in character, but expressing much of the emotion felt on the other side of this keyboard

The first message came in the bundle of post which was delivered as I was heading out to ride Bucephalus in the cool of the autumn afternoon. I quickly flipped through the stack of envelopes that the deliveryman handed me and found a note in Lady Kate Nicholas' hand. What I noted, however, was that it was not her usual meticulous writing, but flowing and rushed in appearance. I decided to break the seal and read it while I walked to the stables.

Dearest Eva-

Eventide is gone.

This decision by the Lab has changed everything. I am simply at a loss. I cannot even begin to analyze the choices made nor the downstream effects at this point.

Eventide is gone......


Eventide! Already?? Oh my dear Kate.... What of the rest of Winterfell? What of Miss Serra? I shall call on both of them tomorrow.

I walked on in numbed silence mourning my friends' loss, feeling the impending doom weighing more heavily on me. When I reached the stable, the groom had already saddled Bucephalus for me. I stuffed the post into the pouch on his saddle and touched his neck gently as I met his eye. He has always known my emotions by the mere touch of my hand or sound of my voice. He understood my need to get as quickly to Winterfell and Eventide as possible, I believe. At the slightest tap of my heels he was off.

On and on I rode at high speed - thankfully astride, as my plan had been to ride the mountain in Loch Avie I had dressed in my jodhpurs and asked that the English saddle be placed on his back - until we reached the edge of the sea which flowed around Kate's lands. But.....there was nothing.... No castle. No trees. No mushrooms. No lands!

Only a monument of fire placed by the Seneschal.

I wept openly.

"This will be only the beginning", I thought to myself. Climbing down from Bucephalus' back, I stared into the sea as though if I looked hard enough things might return to normal. "This is not going to end well."

The ride back to Loch Avie was at a much slower pace. I felt compelled to take in the scenery along the way - not only because of the autumnal beauty, but also because I was not sure how these vistas would change over the course of the next weeks and months. By the time I arrived back to my own soil it had become quite late in the afternoon, the sun was nearly down and the sky was a fiery salmon color. I rode on to the conservatory and let Bucephalus rest by the waters of the Loch. He noticed Nellie and seemed to be jealous of his aquatic kinswoman.

I watched the two horses for a while - the terrestrial and the water - and then stepped inside the conservatory, lit a lamp, and sat down to look at the rest of the post.

Invoice from a field agent.
Correspondence from Mrs. Dogsbody - such a dear lady.
Newspaper from Inverness.
Invitation to a Rez Day party.
Standard form letter from the Lab - Och! Opensim versus Homestead....all the negotiations in the world seem not to make even a tiny change in their ruling.
Letter from Desmond - hmmm. He is advocating for the Caledon voids to be moved to share servers so that resource loads may be leveled and the avatar limits would not be in effect.
Oh dear - a letter from the SLSF. This group has been hit so hard that they are moving all their sims to OpenLife. Details on this subject may be found here.

I sat in the waning light of day with the post in my lap, staring out the windows on my beautiful land, the weight of the world on my shoulders it seemed. The darkness which was creeping over the landscape was echoed in my heart and mind. This latest edict has turned our world upside down. Masses leaving SL for uncharted waters, friends who are now at great financial risk. Soon even my own Loch Avie may not be my lands.

Eva, the eternal optimist, is suddenly and deeply disturbed. Optimism gone.

What has been will no longer be.

I tell myself that these lands are not what (second) life is about. The people are far more important. These things are true; however, people are hurting. This decision by LL has created hardships for many. For me, it seems that it will take away my ability to create and host community events, feats of strength - both mind and body, and charity events. The pub, the distillery, this very conservatory, the MI-5 operations tower.....may all have to disappear.

I plan....that is what I do. Right now, I have no plan. The options with which I am presented do not seem to offer me any kind of option. Is Clan Bellambi to suddenly have no lands to call her own?

Tears flow once more as the optimist is faced with uncertain future. Darkness falls and the lines of a favorite Burns poem come to mind:

Farewell Song to the Banks of Ayr

The gloomy night is gath'ring fast,
Loud roars the wild, inconstant blast,
Yon murky cloud is foul with rain,
I see it driving o'er the plain;
The hunter now has left the moor.
The scatt'red coveys meet secure;
While here I wander, prest with care,
Along the lonely banks of Ayr.

The Autumn mourns her rip'ning corn
By early Winter's ravage torn;
Across her placid, azure sky,
She sees the scowling tempest fly:
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave;
I think upon the stormy wave,
Where many a danger I must dare,
Far from the bonie banks of Ayr.

'Tis not the surging billow's roar,
'Tis not that fatal, deadly shore;
Tho' death in ev'ry shape appear,
The wretched have no more to fear:
But round my heart the ties are bound,
That heart transpierc'd with many a wound;
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,
To leave the bonie banks of Ayr.

Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales,
Her healthy moors and winding vales;
The scenes where wretched Fancy roves,
Pursuing past, unhappy loves!
Farewell, my friends! farewell, my foes!
My peace with these, my love with those:
The bursting tears my heart declare-
Farewell, the bonnie banks of Ayr!

I saw the reflection of a light in the tower as I look through the windows of the conservatory. Activity in MI-5. Will check on what is happening once I get myself straightened up.


Hotspur O'Toole said...

Plan? Plan?? My dear lady, you are a Celt. We live for moments like this. The plan simply becomes: Live while you can; Fight until you cannot fight any longer... depart in the midst of a heap of your enemies. I'm surprised at you! Let us have no more of this moonshine!