Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

The Adventures of the TLK-L Team- Mystery - Part 1

    The sweat was pouring down my forehead like a river. I had to take a
swig of water every few seconds just to keep hydrated. It was all happening
too fast, and I didn't think my body would be able to handle the strain of
such fast muscle motions. The fire burned, the sound raged on in the
background...and there I was, slashing and clawing and flipping, when
    "YES!!!" I shouted, leaping into the air with tears of joy streaming
down my face! "Yes! Yes! Yes! Eat that you black-maned creep!" The end
sequence went by as I smugly sat back to watch. It had taken me several
years, but I finally had beaten The Lion King PC game on hard level.
    "This calls for a celebration!" I exclaimed, reaching into my stash of
Nestle TLK-bars. Heh, I'll bet you wondered where those all went so fast?
<evil grin and waves chocolate in your face> *crunch* "aaaaah," I murmured,
that really hits the spot as I settled down for a nice autumn's nap. This
was definitely the year for me. After a rotten last semester I was really
ready to turn and burn...(excuse me, I probably shouldn't use the word burn
here ;) New laptop, single room at college (if you don't envy that now, you
will! <evillaughclearsthroatgetsbacktopoint>) and not a trouble in sight.
    Then, HE showed up.
    "Simba? SIMBA! Wake up!"
    "ACK!" I shouted, levatating about three feet into the air before
plonq'ing down on the floor with a thud. Scrambling to my computer screen, I
quizzically looked at the face there. He was the last person I expected to
hear from.
    "Daryl? What the hell..?"
    "No time to explain," he said, "you're needed." Oooh luvly, this from
the guy who almost killed me and the rest of the team in the last episode.
    "What happened? I thought hurricane Floyd missed Disney?"
    "This isn't about the blasted hurricane." Daryl snorted at me, taking a
sip from a Kiara mug.
    "I was about to say," I murmured, looking back and forth, "Since when
has a little blow ever stopped such a big organization from running
   Daryl snorted, "Try the White House." I rolled my eyes and then picked
them up off the ground again. Would the jokes never end? "Anyhow," he said,
puffing on a cigar, "I need you to rally the TLK-L team. We've got another
little emergency on our hands." My mind reeled.
    Another emergency? We'd already had to save the characters, find missing
plushies, and save ourselves from destruction by Bill Gates (see TAOTTLKLT
1, 2, 3). What could possibly be left? (Geez, this askin' for it)
    "I'll explain when you've got the team assembled," he said, "Daryl out-"
    "Wait!" I shouted, looking around frantically, "Where's my chute?"
    "Err, where it was last time?"
    "I moved, genius! You don't stay in the same dorm room forever!"
    "Well how was *I* supposed to know that?" Daryl scolded, "My uncle got
me this job out of high school..." And he disappeared.
    "Bamf." was all I could say. I'll skip the details of how I managed to
break and enter into my old room, shock the hell out of the two guys staying
there, and promptly disappear into my chute after activating the secret
password (CTRL-ALT-DEL for those who want to try). The chute was just as wet
and putrid as before, especially since it hadn't been used in a while. What
I found at the bottom utterly shocked me.

    "UGH!" I exclaimed as I landed with an audible squish, "what the..!?
PHEW!" The place looked pretty much the same, maybe a little bit more
redecorating or something, and a strangely familiar throw rug in the corner.
And of course, there was what I had been smelling. A festering congealed
lump of semi-tan goo SOMETHING was right under my feet.
    "SPAM!" I cried out, surprised. I glanced around to see what was
happening. The place was almost empty, something that surprised me. They
must have just gotten out of a meeting or something. It was a strange
feeling, standing in that familiar old hall without having any idea what to
expect. Of course, previously we didn't leave spam lying around. I sighed. A
TLK-L without spam was like....well, since it has never existed, I can't
say. But at least not this solid. I swept it away with a quick on-topic
comment and went over to the main computer to give the all call, holding my


    The chutes started to open and I saw many faces that I hadn't seen
before, talking about strange things like...Tarzan. I didn't have long
enough to contemplate the implications of a half naked guy swinging through
the trees before suddenly getting a whiff of the most putrid thing in
existence (yes, I know I said SPAM was the most putrid thing, but this was
worse). The only thing that smells worse than SPAM is SPAM on fire. (It's
kind of like Beauty and the Beast on ice, only fewer costumes). This was
something I was all too familar with.
    "Flame war!" I shouted, "quick, get some on-topic things!" Simba C and
PixiMouse quickly joined me in getting the small blaze put out with the help
of some stories poems and humor. Just then, I felt myself blindsided by a
    "SIMBA!" cried out a voice. I winced, holding my head.
    "Oh, hi Nala M. Long time, no list." She slurped and giggled a bit, then
got off to let some of the others pounce me.
    "Welcome back!" came a bunch of voices. From the way it sounded, you'd
think I rose from the dead or something. I looked at all the new faces in
awe. Housey and Kovu and Tarlia (oh, my!) were the first members of the
newly recruited TLK-L cast I noticed. They seemed to be at home, along with
several others who kept the list full of...marvelous...posts... And there
were a few faces I recognized from the old days, John Burkitty, Anneke,
Kublia and Mr. Bananabeak.
    "Ahh," I thought, "isn't it nice to be back around famil-"
    "IE5 SUCKS!!!" a voice rang out over the milling mass of members. That
tore it. I heard a whistling sound and looked around trying to find out what
was coming to town.
    "INCOMING!" Miana cried out over the crowd and suddenly there was a
giant SPLOT! as a massive piece of spam landed right in the middle of the
list. I blinked. Flying spam was waaaay unusual, even for this place. To
make matters worse, several listers decided that it would be 'fun-fun
silly-willy' to run up to this wiggling blob of nastiness and set it on
    "Yeah," I said, looking at the camera, "that makes sense." While I
watched this strange bonfire ceremony, Andreas Erben, Brian T. and Paul
Summers quickly went into action, smothering the flames with a few well
timed posts. An errant lister went hurtling off the list with a familiar
    "And if ya ever come back, we'll kill ya!" someone yelled out. Nice to
know random movie quotes are still thrown in for kicks. I was still
    "What's goin' on here!?" I shouted.
    "HEY! That's my line!" retorted Timon, "PAWS OFF!" I cringed inwardly,
just before a tail walked past me and said hello. I did a double take.
    "Mia?" I gasped, "where's the rest of you?" I didn't have time to get an
answer because right then another block of spam came about two inches from
ending my return. This had to have been the second worse spam attack I'd
ever seen. Before long, it was on fire and everyone was hopping ship.
    "Wait! We have to put this thing out!" I shouted, dropping some Wisdom
on it. With the help of Greg Ludwick, Kiara Rose, timopumbaa, and others, we
eventually got it under control, but at a heavy price. The stench had driven
many out, and others were on the verge of trying to get away. Several oldies
had disappeared in the smoke too, leaving me shaking my head.
    "Everyone's leaving..." Monica lamented softly. I shook my head and
sighed, looking at the remaining list members silently. There had already
been so much action, and we hadn't even found out the emergency Daryl had
mentioned yet...

TO BE CONTINUED (maybe)...

    Dear Listers,
    As a result of multiple threats made on my life, I will not be
continuing this series. It has been a terrific opportunity to remember some
of the good old days and see the strangely healing effect that being
mentioned has, but I fear that too many feelings were hurt the last time and
too many feelings would be hurt this time. So it is with a heavy heart that

    "What'cha writing measuring stick Siombe??" I winced. Measuring stick?
That could only be... I quickly swept the contents of the letter behind my
back, offering a cheesy grin to the hog.
    "Nothing, nothing at all!" Aristide gave me a skeptical look
    "I see that mischevious smile!" and promptly hobbled over to me, "hand
it over!" I sighed and gave him the letter, after all, who could resist the
cuteness of a
warthog with only three legs, a broken ear, and enough scars to make Scar
look like a model? Aristide read it and blinked, then to my horror he turned
and yelled into the group.
    "WHAT?!" suddenly, I found myself surrounded by several sets of eyes,
many of which I was still learning.
    "Finish, or else!" Pixi shouted, pointed her flame-retardant humour gun
at me.
    "Com'on, pleeeeeze?" begged Timon, rapidly pulling Heron to his side to
fire the deadly 'twin grin' in my direction. I cracked under the pressure.
    "Ack! Okay! Okay!" Simba C made a motion behind him.
    "We won't need the whips this time, Nala..."
    "Awww...." came a soft reply. I swallowed and stood up.
    "Soooooo, who all is left?" For this brilliant question, I received a
listing of nameless emails, many of which I had never seen before. "I
suppose this answers my question, but that's not what I meant."
    "I know who's left!" Kovu shouted out, "And if you want to know, email
me privately!"
    "Sorry," I scowled, "we don't have that kind of time. We're needed."
    "No one needs us," moped a leopard, "this TLK is dead."
    "True, the movie itself is old," Mwongozi Lisimba commented, "and maybe
there isn't a lot we *havn't* discussed, but that's not the only thing this
list is about."
    "Yes!" cried out Ch'tah W Tyger's voice, "It's about shoes and ships and
ceiling wax, and cabbages and kings!" I looked off in a direction and
shook my head. What was that Caroll guy smoking anyway?! (I think it was
    "You got the kings part right, but this isn't Alice in Wonderland." Just
then, Timon
uttered a loud, leonine yawn, ending with a little roar. Despite the
innoncence of this action, I heard the familiar click-ching! sound of
charging up and took cover.
    "Lion's don't make noise when they yawn!"
    "Why can't things be shown as they are!?"
    "I wanna see the blood!"
    "Everyone should die at the end!"
    "Everyone should live at the end!"
    "WHERE'S MY DIAPER!?" The entire room fell silent. Diaper?! Who was
asking for a diaper? No surprise, no one raised their paw. That was really
random, elicting a large influx of the putrid SPAM from the sky. As I
watched Kublia break out his furburner, I blinked. I leaned over to a rather
wry looking catwoman huddled down near my cover.
    "I didn't know they upgraded the furburners from 2000 to 5000?"
    "Y2K issues," Chelsea Samson whispered back, "reality bytes, I prefer
    "Ain't it the truth..." Wiktor sighed on the other side of me. After the
flames died down and the smoke cleared, I poked my head up again and gasped.
Right before me,
staring directly into my face was none other than the lion Kisasian. And he
didn't look happy...until he started doing the lateral charleston.
    "Sorry," Greg Ludwick grinned, "Kevin wanted me to get his painting from
the wall."
    "This place is getting weirder and weirder by the minute," I lamented
softly to myself. To complicate matters further, a panther came pirohetting
into the room before breaking down with a mighty
    "OOH-RAH! Vitani rocks! Ah-yeah!" and danced off into the room, leading
a veritable conga line of followers. This was the point when I realized
something was seriously wrong (Heh, I'm kinda dense, aren't I? <SMACKS> you
weren't supposed to answer that ;p) Anyhow, after getting Stahi a Vitani
plush to satisfy some of his 'insatiable snugglin' cravings' I thought it
might be a good idea to have a little sit down talk.
    "Doesn't ANYone want to know what Daryl was calling about?" I was met
with blank stares.
    "Who's Daryl?" a voice piped up from the back. I moaned, had it really
been that long since the last TLK-L team? Apparently so, because a new scent
wafted under my nose. When I looked to see where it came from, I was
    "What is THAT doing here?!" Several listers were gathered under a
familiar circular green sign. Nala M. looked up from her coffee and smiled.
    "I had a Starbucks put in, isn't it cool?!"
    "What happened to the TLK-L cafe?" I muttered, meeting with wry gazes.
    "This is a sequel, we need a new cafe." a random voice popped up. I
looked immediately at Timon, who waved his paws innocently.
    "Hasn't anything useful been put into place lately?"
    "I've got an e-zine!" Brian B. shouted.
    "I have a new picture of AmurTigress!" Kublia chortled.
    "I've got tons of new ideas!" Kovu shouted, "just email me privately
    "It's OLD!" shouted a bunch of voices at one time. I frowned, this was
getting more frustrating by the minute! To make matters worse, certain
listers were now taking their caffeine by IV to make it go faster. I just
sat down in shock, trying to take it all in, certain that our ratings would
go down.
    "Speaking of ratings," popped in Daniel P Morman, "do you think that TLK
should have been rated PG?"
    "If the list is any indication, it should have been rated R..." I
muttered. At this rate, there was no way I was willing to let Daryl see the
state of the place. He might shut down our funding, and then what would the
caffiene addicts do? Despite my reservations, I downed a double espresso
from a tall shot glass and nearly choked when I realized the FCOS had spiked
my drink. I was interested in what mission we were supposed to be on, but
the mystery of how to get the list back together was becoming more and more
difficult to solve, and I wasn't the only one...

TO BE CONTINUED... (maybe)

    "Someone once told me, stupid is as stupid does..."
    "What's that got to do with anything?" Keta asked innocently. I
    "Dunno, just needed to do something silly to start the story."
   Feeling an insurgence of inspiration, I rose to my feet and lifted my arm
in a dramatic poise. The eyes of those closest to me dilated (that means got
bigger y'all), as if awaiting something grandiose. I put my arm down and
shrugged. Shortly after, I heard a voice call at me.
    "What was that all about?" I turned to the otter and shrugged.
    "Doesn't matter," I muttered, "it's in the past." SPLAT! An errant piece
of spam flew and landed just shy of my head.
    "Alright, this has gone far enough!" I exclaimed, starting to walk
toward the inferno, "I didn't want to use this, but you all leave me no
choice!" Digging into my wallet, I searched and searched until I discovered
the small piece of plastic left largely unused since the last adventure.
With a mighty motion I pulled it from its polycarbon (that'd be plastic
ya'll) sheath and thrust it stolidly into the air.
    "No!" a group of voices shouted all at one time, but I didn't care. All
fell trembling before the might of my....ARTISTIC LICENSE!
    "Take cover!" Kublia cried out, "he's about to get creative!"

    The TLK-L lair was equipped with flame retardant foam, which promptly
activated and put out the flaming pieces of spam. It also shorted out the
circuitry (that'd be gizmos 'n gadgets, y'all) of the furburners and put out
their flames. The foam had a calming effect that forced the listers to their
seats so they would listen to what had to be said.
    "Pssst..." whispered Rindimo from a distance, "what about all the foam
on the ground?"
    And the foam all evaporated, leaving the lair smelling lemony fresh and
spotless like a chin after using the TLK Shaving kit.
    "Good job.." the cheetah whispered on the wind.

    "Alright then, now that we're all settled- what the heck?" As I looked
around the table the people were sitting in a rather odd conformation. The
first of the small groups sat whispering to one another, while another group
stared at the third group who was carefully checking out the fourth group
like they were going to steal from the fifth group (who had claimed the
    "Cripes, I haven't seen this much of a mess since the -holics wars..." I
frowned, "How are we supposed to accomplish anything with all these separate
little clubs?"
    "As the delegate from the TLK-g, I'd like to make a statement," Housey
said, standing.
    "Yeah, you tell 'em Andrew!" I heard a random voice pop up.
    "Err, yes..." he muttered, "Umm, actually I wanted to know if anyone
would like to aid the 'Help Housey see TLKiL fund'? It's for a good cause."
    "Shouldn't you be cleaning the Pridelands?" I sighed.
    "Speaking of TLKiL, does anyone wanna go with me?" Piotr called out over
the group.
    "As long as I get my drink during the show! *hic*" Nick Hamilton
paused just long enough to take a breath, "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH
    "ACK!" the entire list gasped. I looked up, expecting another block of
the spam to fly in from the sky. Surprisingly it didn't come.
    "Alright," I said, putting my hand to my head, "we need to get on track.
We still haven't even heard from Daryl yet but I'll be a black maned stepcub
before I let him see what this list is looking like."
    "Stop picking on Scar!" a voice piped up. My eyes widened.
    "No- No- no! I didn't mean- I can explain-" But it was too late, I
cowered, expecting to be torn to shreds...but nothing happened. I stood up
again, "well, nice to see that you all are starting to take things a
little-ACK!" Without warning, I was pounced from behind by Nala M (gently,
because she'd NEVER abuse ANYone;) , who began a tickle attack before I even
hit the ground.
    "Call me a meanie, will ya?" I tried to say something, but couldn't due
to excessive laughter, before long, a tail (yes a tail) came up and helped
her. A disgruntled looking lioness walked up, snatched the errant appendage
(that's a body part, y'all) and stuck it back where it belonged.
    "I thought I told you never to run off like that!" Mia chided.
Meanwhile, I was in the process of pleading with Nala M.
    "I'll give you anything! Jewels, candy, coffee, a dress made of
    "Did somebody say Qui-Gon!?!" Kubieye hopped up excitedly. We all paused
to stare at him quizzically, "Oops, exsqueeze me, meesa sowwie." I was saved
from an unlikely source.
    "Nala," Soraya commented, "if you don't let him up, then he can't finish
the story."
    "Yeah, and is that any way for the queen of Pride Rock to act?" smirked
    "The Queens of Pride Rock!" Soraya shouted, motion to the side, "hit it
Pixi!" Without warning a set of strobe lights descended from the ceiling and
simulated fog flooded the massive table and three figures hopped up on the
'stage', beginning a dance. I groaned as scary familiar music started
pumping from hidden speakers.
    "If ya wanna be my ruler...ya gotta be an LK fan!
    The queens are all together, rockin' like we can!
    If ya wanna be my ruler, ya gotta be my mane man.
   TLK forever, com'on give it a hand!"
   "NO!!" I shouted, tearing at my too-short-to-tear hair. Pixi looked at me
with a mischevious grin.
    "So tell me what you want, what you really really want?"
    "I wanna-"
    "Huh!" Nala cut me off,
    "Will you-"
    "Huh!" Soraya chimed in
    "Stop that-"
    "Huh!" Pixi chortled.
    "AAAH!" I screamed
    "Huh!" the three of them said, as the list went mad, cheering for more.
    "Nice song!" Leão aJ cheered. I looked at him in surprise.
    "Don't encourage them, Leão aJ"
    "That's Lion aJ."
    "Lion aJ"
    "Naw, it's Leão aJ again." he grinned.
    "Can we PLEASE get on track again!?" Timon lamented, "I wanna know what
happens next!"
    "Yeah!" Tarlia chimed in.
    "Alright," I murmured hoarsely, my ears still ringing from the little
solo, "are we ready to see what Daryl has to say yet?"
    "I'm game," Andreas called out.
    "Me too!" Iggan agreed,
    "Hmm," Kubieye mrred, "what yousa thinkin Simba?" I wish he hadn't said
that, because suddenly about 50 other listers stood up and all started
talking at once. I saw one rather insane kitty bouncing off the others,
while several more were engaged in a pointless discussion over who was King
of Pride Rock. After that musical interlude, I was thinking about racing to
the throne myself, but not to rule...
    "This was supposed to be a Dave joke! Where'd all the Daves go??"
    Well, I had to use @Q to get the room back to a state of order (MUCK
joke, and longstanding TLKteam staple), but we did settle down. With that
finally taken care of, I bribed Stahi into contacting Daryl with a Vitani
plush. The screen flickered and when his face came up, I suddenly felt as if
a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. We were finally going to
get this mystery underway...

    Or so I thought...


    Do you want to know scary? I'll tell you about scary. Scary is having a
test where you have to memorize 400 answers for 50 questions. And you know
what horror is? Horror is realizing this with about 12 hours left until the
test begins. And do you wanna know what is absolutely and positively
    Well, so would I, so that makes us even. Anyhow, Daryl was up on the
screen, looking over the list with a serious expression.
    "What took you so long?" he muttered.
    "The list was suffering...err" I tried to think of some kind of excuse,
but ended up shrugging, "technical difficulties?"
    "You didn't make sure that the hardware in the TLK-L Lair is Y2K
compliant, did you?" Daryl tugged at his throat,
    "Well, we had some other little issues to clean up." Dave Cleary rose
carefully in defense of the FCOS.
    "We would like to profusely apologize for the fallout caused by the
Grand Pumbaa's visit to that school. We thought it would be a good way to
break the ice for incoming TLK fans."
    "The only thing that managed to do was break wind..." I heard Sichi say
in a manner that was full of sarcastic pointedness. I looked at him wryly,
then looked back at Daryl,
    "Anyhow, now that we've got you here, what is the problem?"
    "The biggest issue is involving the livelihood of the team," he said,
finally getting to the bottom of things, "we need a way to keep TLK alive in
the minds and hearts of everyone."
    "You've already got TLKiL," Steffen commented,
     "And the site is updated, by the way..." Christoph Franck added.
    "Yes, yes, but we need something better to bring in the new millenium.."
Daryl responded. He stopped and blinked, "what is THAT?" I looked behind me,
and to my horror there was a tail bouncing straight at me, followed by an
irate lioness.
    "I'm freeeeee!" the tail shouted, just before ducking away from the
'camera'. I tried to sidestep the issue, grinning like there was no
    "Errr, it's nothing..."
    "What about TLK coffee?" Nala M. shouted out, her tail moving at a hyper
pace, "Prideland Brew! Mmm, brew..." she raced over to the Starbucks, who
quickly took her cash and provided her with the addicting drink. And if you
think that's silly, try imaging where a lioness keeps her pocketbook?
    "Wasn't that Pridelands Brew Logozo's idea?" Daryl asked.
    "Heh, maybe," I said, looking at the lioness warily, "but if that's the
same stuff that Rafiki was using in SP, I don't think it'd be a good idea."
    "Where's your sense of fun man?" Timon took a drag from his third fag
and wiped his forehead with a TLK rag, "it'd be like...Upendi in a box." The
concept of a bunch of little kids tripping on TLK-brand 'Fiki's Fags' was
*just* unappealing enough to make me quiver.
    "Whatever happened to Logozo's SPAM weaponry?" Daryl commented
    "It got replaced..." Sichi smirked, "we can SPAM ourselves perfectly
well thank you." Before I could make a comment to that, Pixi hopped up on
the table and pointed at the screen.
    "Never fear! The Queens of Pride Rock will go on tour and spice up the
TLK world." Eager to prevent another horrific musical number, I waved my
hands at them fervently.
    "I'm sure that we can come up with better ideas than that!!" I
    "We could always do tickle-me SimbaW dolls?" Nala M. added from her VIP
spot at Starbucks. Suddenly, I knew what that absolutely and positively
terrifying thing was.
    "ACK!" I shouted, being promptly tapped on the shoulder after my
    "Excuse me," a dumpy snow leopard commented, "that's MY line!"
    "Sorry, Plonq..." I handed him a twinkie and all was right again.
    "A-HEM," Daryl cleared his throat, "ideas people?"
    "What about a new side of the pridelands?" Brian Bommarito grinned,
"I've got this story about these rabbits that fight..."
    "Who said something about rabbits that are white?!" CW Tyger shouted,
"That white rabbit is late for our tea party!" Hmm, better just let that one
    "Rabbits?" Daniel P Morman, aka Scotlion asked, "What does that have to
do with TLK?"
    "Its furry?" I shook my head.
    "Good idea, but the 'bloody rabbit' thing has already been done. Take a
look at Watership Down." Realizing what I'd just said, I glanced from side
to side again, expecting the sidetrack to be taken up immediately. It
wasn't, and I sighed, missing Chris Boyce and his Watership Down expertise.
    "They're gonna shut us down! They're gonna shut us down!" cried an
errant voice.
    "The phrase, what the hell are you blathering about comes to mind..."
Paul Summers commented. Daryl shook his head,
    "Are these the best ideas that you can come up with?"
    "TLKNet!" Housey cried out, "Go see TLKNet!" ThHis is about the point
where I wondered how many times one person could plug one site. (please do
not test me on this ;)
    "We could always have another sequel...?" A meek voice called out.
Silence, while the sound of crickets filled the air for a second...followed
by a loud, but noticeable crunch.
    "Mm, I LOVE the musical kind!" Caji 'Kat munched.
    "That's all we need," Kublia commented, "another sequel with a weak
plot. How can we ever expect that to be popular?"
    "Well," I smirked, "it worked for this TLK-L team story." While the rest
of the list's meerkat population scrambled to search and dine on the
crickets, the silence didn't last long. Ideas were being thrown back and
forth rapidly, and it was quickly starting to spiral out of control. Moving
off the the edge of a chute, I stood with my hand on my chin to pondering
the situation carefully. I almost was bowled over by Elfasi as he came
barreling in. I blinked.
    "Where have you been?"
    "I'm a week behind," he said, "sue me..."
    "I don't know about suing you, but there's a more important problem to
deal with."
    "Oh?" Aristide said, sidling up to my other side. (Seinfeld reference
that I never actually saw), "what's that?" I sighed and looked off into
space, promptly getting smacked for it.
    "Stop looking in my ear!" the Pocahontas fan said, promptly leaving. I
rubbed my cheek and winced.
    "How's THAT get in here?" It didn't matter. We were moving nowhere fast,
and we needed ideas to keep TLK alive. Or at least to keep each other alive.
I think that I saw a new furburner model, and this one doesn't react to the
flame retardant foam...

TO BE CONCLUDED... (if you are lucky)

After careful deliberations, in a manner befitting only the most mature and
erudite scholars of the centuries, we, the TLK-L team, found the way to keep
TLK alive forever. And through that, ourselves.

The End.

<grins> I suppose you though I was going to end it like that. Heh, except
for the ones who saw the last series ;) Well, it didn't happen like that. It
was more involved and detailed than I want to write here. However...since
everyone is DYING to know what happened and I haven't had the /pleasure/ of
enduring Sichi's 'WetNoodle[tm] machine...

    "Wha?" I sputtered
    "Simba, this is your conscience speaking..."
    "You!? I thought I strapped you to the bed!"
    "Simba," the mysterious voice said, "that last installment had no jokes
    "I'm sorry," I murmured.
    "You deliberately put plot in a TLK-L team story, and what's worse! it
wasn't even funny." I sighed heavily,
    "I was just trying to be funny like you..."
    "I'm only funny when I have to be..." I heard as a response, "Simba,
being funny, doesn't mean you go LOOKing for humor."
    "It doesn't?"
    "No," the voice said, "you're supposed to let it just drop in front of
    "But where am I going to find somewhere I can go where crazy events just
drop in my lap and practically beg to be satirized?" My conscience and I
looked at the 'camera' for a moment, and I smiled. "Ahhh...."
    "You have learned well, Simba..."
    "Thanks, well. I'm supposed to conclude this thing so..."
    "Just, remember who you are..." Though I didn't think who I was had much
to do with what this was, I elected to finish this report of past events

    Well, after a period of debate and the flinging of pies (bet you thought
I was gonna say flames), the team calmed down enough to decide on a little
deliberation time...(that be time to think, peeps. Try it, you'll like it)
we elected to split up to come to our own conclusions before presenting them
to the list. Daryl thought it was an excellent idea, but made the warning
quite clear that tomorrow was the last chance we had to save the TLK-L team.
With that, he quickly stopped
hogging bandwidth with his communication, much to Brian T.'s delight.
    I flopped down in the overly cushy chair that was under my lofted bed. A
puff of dust billowed out from under it, and I watched it float into the
room, blinking.
    "I must be awfully tired, I could have sworn that dust spelled out..." I
waved it off with a shake of the hand and sighed. Today was to be the
day...the TLK-L team had to either put up or shut up (for some members who
need to shut up anyway, this didn't apply) I broke into my old room again,
heading for my chute. The guys tried to stop me again, but I slipped them a
little of the FCOS wine and they quickly let me pass. (college, oy! ;) A
quick tap of the secret password and once again, I was surrounded by the
happy furs of the
    "Alright, do we have any ideas?" A relatively young, mild-mannered
leopard melted out of the obscurity of the back of the room, and
mysteriously *floated?* into view.  Unable to resist a
reply (IC for once), he offered
    "How about publishing a book of Fan-Fics, or animating our Fan-fics.  If
well all got our creative juices flowin' maybe we can revitalize our
treasured heritage." I looked at the leopard.
    "Have I seen you around here before?"
    "No..." he answered, "but my name is José." Wow, it was like he could
read my mind or something. Apparently not fast enough though, because before
I could think 'look out' a lioness blur POUNCEd on him and licked.
    "Hi, I'm Nala M, the official greeter..." Note: this pounce was done
softly and with the absolute precise care to make sure no one was harmed.
No, I haven't been tickled too much lately *eyetwitch*
    "Daryl told us a long time ago we couldn't do that. Copywrite issues and
    "Besides," commented a snow leopard, "I think the stories here need a
little more emphasis on original plots and especially grammar."
    "I'M BAAAACK," Jonathan Ige shouted from nowhere, "I was out doing some
other things and thought that I'd post to the list well of course I needed
to post to the list because I'm so far behind and need to catch up but for
some reason I'm in a really talkative mood right now and oh well you'll have
to live with it because I need to get some things said even though my
punctuation is off and I have a sudden urge to answer every email ever
posted to the list in one single message though I hope no one miiiiinds...?"
There was that sound again...
    "Hrm, furburners..." I commented, "how lovely."
    "Foam proof!" Timon shouted, charging his up. He was about to roast Jon
over an open fire like a chestnut before I threatened to send him the 'we
are the children of the 80s' email. Sichi grinned and said in a snide
    "He'd make a very handsome throw rug..."
    "We're NOT making throw rugs out of people on the list! I don't care how
much you want to beat them!"
    "Hrmph," Jon commented, "I'm put off...such nasty imagery." Just then, a
convoy from the FCOS came and stood next to him.
    "For services above and beyond the call of duty, we present you with the
'open mouth, insert foot, award." I wonder exactly how many
awards/ranks/honors the FCOS has anyway?
    "Look," Simba C commented, "it's been five long years..." before his
point could even be considered, people were raising their weapons and ready
to heat the party up. It was quickly cut short by the presence of Daryl
appearing on screen.
    "It is time..." he said, producing groans from his melodrama and chills
from his presence, "what idea did you come up with that will keep TLK
alive?" There was a silence, broken only by the sound of gentle puffing as
another of Timon's fags went up in smoke. Caji'Kat was the first to jump up,
    "Why don't we make a deal with Mattel and hook up Scar and Barbie?" I
raised a brow, trying hard to keep from laughing at the mental image
    "Where did that come from?" she quickly swept a piece of paper behind
her back,
    "Err, nowhere?" *shining cheesy grin*. Daryl sighed and shook his head.
    "If that's the best that we can come up with then I'm afraid the TLK-L
team will have to be officially disbanded..." *cricket sound* *crunching
    "Mmf.." the meerkats said, "couldn't resist..." I was at a loss. Was
this really the end of the TLK-L team? After all this, a simple lack of
ideas was going to cause us to be no more? It was horrifying...until...
    "Why don't we focus on the fans?" Canela suggested softly. We all looked
at Daryl with hope in our eyes, and he raised a brow...then shrugged.
    "Alright, the team stays." and disappeared.
    "WHOO-HOO!" shouted the entire list. The lights came down and
psedo-fog(that's that fake fog y'all) filled the room as everyone jammed to
the new sound of the Queens of Pride Rock...<gets a whisper from Soraya> Oh,
I mean the Spice Furs.
    "There's a party!
      Pride Rockin' party!
      Com'on party!
      Dance with us tonight!
      LK's back- ALRIGHT!" I blinked for a moment. Apparently the Spice Furs
had changed their look to a more...backstreet style. I shrugged and
chuckled, not into the whole thing anyway. I'm gonna have to talk to Nala
about those piercings... Everyone was on the upswing. The news that we'd be
sticking around sparked a new creativity. Poems flew left and right. CW
Tyger threw in 'Lion Queen', ScotLION mused on how great it was to be
leonine, and Zenny Lupo added a few lovely thoughts. Combined with SimbaC's
and Caji's art, the list was going through a real upswing. The only tense
moment we had was when Brian B almost drowned in letters, but even that
turned out to be okay (if overtly offtopic ;)
    timopumbaa provided everyone with Slurpees, which made the Starbucks
crew jealous. Eventually they hit a compromise to carry starbucks slurpees
(don't laugh, I've seen 'em!) and all was right again. The celebration
lasted for a while, before everyone started home (to do that homework they
KNOW they should have been doing) *hint-hint nudge-nudge wink-wink
parents grounded me from the internet'-messages* As people were starting
toward their chutes, I ran into the middle and waved my hands frantically.
    "Wait! Do you realize what has just happened here?" the looks between
each other
made all the point they needed to. "Look at us. There was an outside threat
and we all came together to confront it. For a moment in time, we were all
one. the artists, writers, flame-throwers, lurkers, newbies, eveyone! We
all came together and fought this thing together. Like a family.." I
paused, to reflect.
     "Don't you see? Even though we've fought and flamed and beaten each
verbally until we want to cry, we still are together. We can still flock to
the banner that formed out team in the first place, TLK. And if this many
people can come together, with all their ideas, comments, backgrounds,
nationalities and be successful, then there MUST be something right about
what we do here. There is honor in it." once again, I paused, and sighed a
     "I may not be the greatest speaker in the world, nor perhaps qualified
have you even listen to me. But you are all like a family, and when
something attacks one of us it hurts us all. So as we go back to our
separate lives, lets try to remember that we are together in something more
than just word. Remember what we've accomplished here, and remember who was
right alongside you in the endeavour."
     I finished, half unsure, half emotional, and half- wait, that's all the
halves I have :p. But the silence that came after, and then the smiles that
were exchanged among those still there were worth the entire experience.
Perhaps for once, something had gotten past all our thick skulls, and it
took an outside force to bring us together. Once again all was peace and
the TLK-L team was whole.
    "HEY!" Kublia shouted at me, "didn't you use that speech in the FIRST
TLK-L team?" I shrugged,
    "Hey, we weren't perfect in the 'good ol' days either." I picked him up
and tucked him in, "now go back to sleep." Kub purred and quickly was out.
He's been getting up too early lately.
    I walked through the empty lair alone for a moment and looked around
with a smile. There had been a lot of good times had here, and a lot of
rough ones too. I moved toward my chute, knowing what I was about to leave
behind before something distracted me. The computer panel blinked, and I
    "Someone forgot to shut off the mainframe..." I lifted my head,
repeating the word to myself, " THAT sounds like
a good title for a story..."

Fin. (that means thuh end, y'all)