Heroes on FB 2013...

January 3
Jack: James, we've entered into a new year, and we are dwindling in number.
James: Most disconcerting.
Jack: Matthew is in for final approval, and Mark is now gone.
James: Is it my imagining or was it easier when our number included them as well as Jonathan and Luck?
Jack: True. Strength in numbers so to speak.
James: You don't suppose no one else is coming?
Jack: Don't be daft. Of course others are coming.
James: Why are you certain?
Jack: I'm not actually here at all, now am I? No plot, no heroine, no title, nothing but a tickle in her brain.
James: I suspect she considers you a bit more than a tickle.
Jack: Mayhap. Be that as it may, there are books already contracted whereas I am not.
James: Yet.
Jack: I thank you for that bit of encouragement.
James: She's a terribly responsible sort, so I suppose we'll meet our new cohorts soon enough.
Jack: Aye, we will. Poor saps don't know what they're in for.
January 14
James: I say, Jack. Pray tell why the sudden morose mien?
Jack: You don't know what I've done.
James: Of course not. Oh. Our Laurel Hawkes is unearthing your story.
Jack: Aye.
James: We did warn you.
Jack: That you did, but I never expected this turn of events.
James: She has a way of wringing out one's secrets, whether you wish it or no. You'll survive it.
Jack: I'm not sure I want to…
James: None of that now.
Jack: You don't know--
James: Neither do you. The beginning is always a bit like a country back road after a storm, passable if you give yourself time, but a muddy business no matter how you go about it.
Jack: You don't understand.
James: We've all been through it--
Jack: No! You're not listening. I planned it all out. It involved adventure and time travel--
James: Time travel? Are you daft? Our Laurel doesn't write time travel.
Jack: I helped her lay an impressive foundation--
James: She doesn't write time travel.
Jack: Excitement, intrigue--
James: What part of she doesn't write time travel are you not grasping?
Jack: My plan was brilliant.
James: We all like to believe we know best. Trust her. She's already made you a hero. She'll not abandon you. Of course, that isn't to say she won't drag you through a bit of mud along the way.
Jack: I wanted to be a knight in shining armor, so to speak.
James: She's more of a tarnished armor kind of writer.
Jack: So I'm learning.
James: Trust she'll see you through it.
Jack: Not easy.
James: Never said it was.
January 23
James: Jack! Did you see? Yesterday, she mentioned ME on FB.
Jack: This is significant because?
James: She usually mentions you.
Jack: I repeat: This is significant--
James: You do know you are a bit intimidating?
Jack: Surely you jest! I'm practically nothing to speak of, good or ill, except the assurance I am a hero.
James: Don't pretend you don't notice. It's Jack this and Jack that. It's enough to leave a fellow wondering whether or not he counts for anything, if you must know.
Jack: Do not be a widgeon. It's most unbecoming in a hero.
James: Heroes are not perfect, you know.
Jack: Never said we were, but we do need more than a modicum of confidence.
James: True enough. Still…
Jack: Do stop comparing.
James: Still smarting over your story?
Jack: We will not speak of it.
James: I will take that as a yes.
Jack: Muzzle it.
James: Not to worry, Jack. You do understand the only reason I was mentioned is because she is currently working on re-writes for my story?
Jack: Yes. She is working on YOUR story.
James: Oh. I do see the problem, now.
Jack: Thought you might.
James: Yes, well, it might help to know her writing improves with each story, so yours ought to be quite spectacular.
Jack: Now, I fear not living up to expectations!
James: Imagine how she must feel.
Jack: Oh, there is that. I suppose you want to pray for her.
James: Every day.
Febuary 14
Matthew: Have you seen it?
James: Seen what?
Jack: What does it matter? He's returned to gloat.
James: Be a sport, Jack.
Jack: Why?
Matthew: In Crab Street, Jack?
James: Don't bait him.
Mark: Never mind the grump. Spill it, Matthew.
Jack: You, too?
James: Why so aggrieved, Jack?
Matthew: Truly, Jack. You complain like a child deprived of a treat.
Jack: Deliver your news and be quick about it.
Matthew: No need to snap and snarl.
Jack: Button it.
Matthew: Choose, Jack. Talk or silence. I can't do both.
Jack: Stubble it.
James: Matthew, ignore the grumpletonian and share your news.
Matthew: Yesterday, our story's cover was revealed to the world.
James: Brilliant!
Mark: Awesome, Matthew!
Jack: Of course it was.
James: Fribble.
Jack: You accuse me of behaving foolishly?
James: Yes.
Mark: Cowboy up, Jack. Your turn is coming.
James: You are still up in arms about a lack of story?
Jack: All well and good for you to advise patience. She is working on your story even as we speak.
James: Not quite, but close.
Mark: Gentlemen, one of our own is in dire straights.
Matthew: You have a plan.
Mark: Yes.
James: What do you suggest we do?
Mark: We beg and plead with Laurel for some small crumb.
Jack: I beg your pardon?
James: Quiet, Jack. Mark has an excellent idea.
Matthew: What crumb should we ask for?
Mark: It is Valentine's Day.
Matthew: An excellent idea.
James: Decidedly.
Jack: What?
Mark: We ask our fair lady to reveal the name of your heroine.
Jack: You would do this for me?
Matthew: Without a doubt. Our brotherhood formed in the fires of our lady's creativity. It's the least we can do for one of our own.
Jack: I don't know what to say.
James: Thank you would be good.
Jack: Thank you.
Laurel: As you wish, gentlemen. Abigail Stewart. Happy Valentine's Day.
March 18
James: Do you see what I see?
Jack: We've a new resident.
James: Regency or Contemporary, sir?
Eric: Name's Eric and definitely contemporary.
Jack: You appear a bit dazed, Eric.
Eric: I'm a blip of a character.
James: Do tell.
Eric: Next thing I know, she's dragging my backstory from Mark's Grace.
Jack: You were a secondary character?
Eric: Hardly. I made an appearance in two chapters, then BAM! My world is turned upside down, and it's a whole lot more complicated.
Jack: She does have a way of doing that.
James: That she does.
Jack: Welcome to the madness.
Eric: Why do I have the impression you're maybe a little too pleased.
Jack: Do not delude yourself.
James: Jack...
Jack: Yes, James?
James: You know how our lady feels about honesty.
Jack: Look, James, here comes another.
James: What?
Eric: From the look on your face, you know him.
James: Richard! What are you doing here?
Richard: A foolish question, I think?
Jack: Indubitably. James, I take it you know this gentleman?
James: Indeed, but I can't imagine why he is here.
Jack: It is obvious. Our lady found a story for him.
Eric: Or the story found him.
Jack: You're catching on.
 March 21
James: He's gone.
Richard: Who is gone?
James: My brother.
Eric: Are you talking about the guy I saw walking out yesterday?
James: The same.
Eric: I don't know why you're acting so depressed. The way he was looking at the girl on his arm, I think he's pretty happy about it.
Richard: You gudgeon. Matthew isn't gone. He's published. They are not even remotely the same thing.
James: I'm alone now.
Richard: What about your younger brother, Benjamin?
James: I haven't see him in months.
Eric: Our lady's been a bit busy. I'm sure she'll bring him along soon enough.
James: Perhaps.
Richard: Of course, she will. If nothing else, she's tenacious. Never leaves anything undone, though she does take rather long to make her way around to some things.
Eric: Speaking of which, where's Jack?
Richard: He's here. Over there, in the corner.
Eric: What is he doing there?
James: She started outlining his story this morning.
Eric: He should be ecstatic.
James: I'm not sure he's entirely happy with how things are starting.
Richard: It's his own fault for being so complicated.
James: I think we can spare him a little pity.
Eric: Maybe, maybe not.
Richard: Buck up, Jack. She'll work it out in the end.
Jack: So says a man who doesn't have a storyline yet.
Eric: Ouch. Low blow.
Richard: It matters not. Do you trust her or not?
Jack: In this moment, I know not.
Richard: Fair enough.
James: A step in the right direction, anyway.
Jack: How so?
James: You are honest.
Jack: You don't know me.
James: No, but she does.
Richard: And she made you a hero.
Eric: So there must be enough redeeming qualities to save your sorry--
James: Enough.
Eric: No skin off my nose.
James: Not liking your own state of affairs?
Eric: I have to admit I understand Jack's misgivings.
Richard: And then we watch one of our own walk out with a lovely woman on his arm, and maybe it will be worth it…
Jack: Maybe it will at that.
James: Mark has been quiet.
Mark: I'm in a holding pattern, so to speak.
Richard: A what?
Mark: Editing is mostly done. Formatting still needs to be done. I've seen the cover, and it made our lady cry.
Eric: Do we need to take someone out?
Mark: No, she liked it.
Jack: Exceedingly.
Richard: I suppose we ought to celebrate Matthew's success in making it through.
Jack: Cheers, Matthew.
Eric: Go for it, Matthew.
Richard: Godspeed, Matthew.
Mark: Good luck, Matthew.
James: God bless, brother.
 April 5
Jack: Who are you?
Benjamin: James' youngest brother.
Jack: James! Your brother's here!
Eric: Where is James? I haven't seen him in days.
Richard: Our lady's doing.
Benjamin: What is she doing?
Jack: James' re-write. I peeked. Must say I'm grateful I'm not him.
Benjamin: Difficult?
Richard: More like breakneck speed.
Eric: Sounds dangerous.
Jack: It is, but no matter.
Benjamin: A bit cold-hearted.
Richard: Mind your tongue, Benjamin. You don't know to whom you speak.
Benjamin: He's a Laurel Hawkes hero, like the rest of us.
Richard: Yes and no.
Eric: Didn't know she wrote about Elves.
Benjamin: Elves? There are Elves?
Jack: No! No Elves.
Benjamin: Why claim she wrote about Elves, then?
Eric: Because Tolkien wrote "Go not to the Elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no."
Richard: It is nothing to do with Elves.
Jack: Pity.
Richard: Ehem. I was not giving contradictory answers but answer each point respectively.
Benjamin: Very confusing.
Jack: You'll grow accustomed to it.
Benjamin: I'm uncertain if I want to--
Eric: Too late.
Jack: Far too late.
Richard: Cheer up, Benjamin, it could be worse.
Benjamin: How?
Jack: She could have left you in the void, never thinking of you at all.
Benjamin: A dismal sounding prospect.
Richard: Don't mind Jack. He's a flare for the dramatic.
Jack: Bah!
 April 24

Jack: Benjamin, do tell, why is your brother pacing?
Benjamin: Why ask me and not him?
Jack: There is a look about him. I don't entirely trust it.
Benjamin: Surely you do not fear him.
Jack: Do not be impertinent.
Benjamin: Then why not ask him yourself?
Jack: I did not survive my past by playing the fool.
Benjamin: Ah, our lady is unearthing you.
Eric: He was buried?
Mark: She doesn't write those kinds of books.
Jack: Widgeon.
Eric: What did he call me?
Benjamin: Foolish.
Eric: Being new does not make a man foolish.
Jack: Opening his mouth and proving how new he is does.
Mark: Pot meet kettle.
Jack: When?
Mark: You do know our past conversations are archived on her blog?
Eric: They are?
Mark: Every single one, on pages titled Hunted on FB.
Benjamin: We hunt her?
Mark: Don't you want to know about your story?
Benjamin: Well, yes.
Jack: Haven't you pestered her to tell you?
Benjamin: Well, no.
Jack: No?
Benjamin: She will tell me when she is ready.
Jack: What is wrong with you?
Mark: Not everyone is as impatient as Jack.
James: Silence! You are distracting her!
Benjamin: Our regrets, brother.
Jack: I don't regret it.
Mark: Muzzle it, Jack.
Eric: Sorry.
Jack: Bah!
Mark: You're repeating yourself.
James: It matters not. Do not say another word. Not another word.
May 20
Richard: Pray tell, what is Mark doing in the corner.
Eric: Relaxation exercises.
James: I beg your pardon?
Jack: Do keep up James. He does them whenever he's out of sorts.
Richard: Whatever for?
Jack: He's leaving us.
James: Indeed.
Eric: Already? I only just arrived!
Jack: Look sharp.
Richard: Before a cat can lick its ear.
Eric: Excuse me?
James: You're confusing him.
Jack: It's English.
James: Regency English.
Eric: Oh. So I need to learn Regency English to hang out here?
Richard: It would be helpful.
Jack: Or recruit another contemporary hero.
James: Indeed, because you're about to lose this one.
Eric: Where's he going?
James: Do you want to tell him, Jack?
Jack: Why me? You've been here longer.
James: True enough, but you enjoy spilling the bag.
Eric: Spilling the bag?
Richard: Revealing secrets.
James; Not to worry, Eric. We'll have you speaking a second language in no time.
Eric: I don't need any help, thanks. She already has me learning Thai.
Richard: Learning what?
Eric: Thai, the national language of Thailand, in the Orient.
Jack: Do tell.
Eric: I don't know much more than that.
Jack: Curiouser and curiouser.
Eric: What of Mark?
James: Yes, well, tomorrow is a very big day.
Richard: Indeed. The biggest.
Jack: He'll be on his merry way or is that marry way?
Mark: Stubble it, Jack.
James: Well done, Mark. Excellent bit of Regency.
Richard: He's to be caught in Parson's Mousetrap?
Eric: Stop! Speak English!
Jack: It is English, Eric. And glaring at me does not change it.
Mark: Hang in there, Eric. Don't take Jack too seriously. He's a bit of a troublemaker from the start but harmless.
Jack: I'll show you harmless.
Mark: Too late. I'm out the door any moment.
Eric: You're leaving?
James: Lucky man is being published, tomorrow.
Eric: You're ready?
Mark: It was a perilous road, but I'm ready.
Eric: Congratulations.
Richard: Godspeed.
James: God bless your journey.
Jack: May the wind be at your back.
June 19
Benjamin: George, what are you doing here?
George: I was invited, of course.
Benjamin: A bit awkward, don't you know?
Jack: Indeed?
Benjamin: Decidedly.
James: What's George doing here?
Benjamin: He says he was invited.
James: Awkward that.
Eric: Why?
Benjamin: He's dead.
Eric: He's what?
Benjamin: He's dead.
George: I'm not dead yet.
James: Yes, you are.
Benjamin: You died at Waterloo.
James: It was 1815.
Richard: All of our stories take place in 1816 and 1817.
Eric: Not mine. Mine's in 1985.
George: In which case, all of you are dead, but Eric.
Benjamin: Do not complicate matters.
George: Wouldn't dream of it.
Benjamin: And yet, here you are.
George: Our lady decided my story was worth being told, so here I am.
Richard: She does have a way of complicating matters all on her own.
Benjamin: Still awkward.
Jack: And I thought my life was complicated.
June 26
Eric: Why is James pacing?
Benjamin: He awaits edits.
Richard: I've heard tales of horror visited upon wayward souls.
Jack: I have heard our lady is more to be feared than any editor.
James: Humbug.
Richard: You cannot deny the truth.
George: One need look no further than my own narrative.
Eric: I hate Regency English.
Fitzgerald: Watch yourself, sir. You are surrounded.
Richard: We've endured this discussion before.
Benjamin: Not so long ago.
Eric: Fine! Speak American.
Fitzgerald: You ask the impossible.
Jack: It won't help. Trust me. The century is all wrong.
James: You need a comrade in arms.
Eric: I'm the only contemporary hero here.
Fitzgerald: You forget to whom we owe our very existence.
James: When she settles on the name, the next hero will appear.
George: Rumor is she mulled over a name the other night.
Fitzgerald: How did you hear of this?
George: What else is there for me to do?
Fitzgerald: Pity you do not survive for our tales.
Jack: Don't spill the soup!
Eric: There's soup?
Fitzgerald: Of course not.
Eric: Jack said--
Benjamin: He meant don't spill the bag.
Eric: What bag?
Fitzgerald: You're hopeless.
James: Stubble it. Someone is here.
Jack: Who, pray tell, are you?
Ian: Ian Morgan.
Eric: When does your story take place?
Ian: 1986.
Jack: There you are, Eric, a fellow knight, at last.
Ian: Brilliant.
Eric: You sound English.
Ian: I am English.
Jack: Eric, it is pathetic and mildly disturbing watching a hero cry.
Fitzgerald: I'm uncertain if he is weeping or laughing so hard tears are streaming down his face.
Jack: Never underestimate our lady's sense of humor.
August 2
Fitzgerald: Our lady appears a bit rough around the edges.
Eric: More like rode hard and put away wet.
Ian: I beg your pardon?
Jack: Horse jargon.
George: My fault.
Benjamin: What did you do?
George: Woke her at two.
Richard: This morning?
George: My most humble apologies.
James: No, George, it's my fault.
Eric: Actually, it's mine.
Jack: This should be good.
Fitzgerald: Explanations, gentlemen.
George: She's researching Waterloo.
James: She's been editing.
Eric: She wrote my story in one month.
Ian: She only writes one or two thousand words a day.
Eric: Not this time.
Jack: Do tell.
Eric: Five thousand words a day and then a complete rewrite.
Ian: She learned something new about herself.
Fitzgerald: She's created a new best to beat.
Benjamin: Shhh.
Fitzgerald: What?
Benjamin: She'll hear you.
Ian: Of course, she'll hear. She isn't deaf.
George: What are you prattling about, Benji?
Jack: Benji?
Benjamin: Stubble it, Jack.
Richard: Gentleman, it behooves us to help not hinder.
Ian: What may we do?
Fitzgerald: Encourage her competitive spirit.
Benjamin: I fear she'll wear herself out.
Richard: It is our duty to ensure she does not.
Jack: Encourage her without browbeating her.
Richard: Do you not see the irony of such advice from you?
Jack: I've not harried her of late.
Eric: It's true.
James: She's settling into a routine.
Jack: She is accepting she is a writer.
Fitzgerald: Now if she'll only give my cohort a name.
James: Here we go.
Jack: At least it wasn't me, this time.
Jack: Who are you?
Tim: I'm Officer Tim Black.
Fitzgerald: What new devilry is this?
James: Do my eyes deceive me?
Benjamin: Only if they also deceive me.
Eric: Will they all fit in here?
Ian: How many are there?
Tim: Sixteen of us.
Richard: Sixteen?
Tim: Don't worry. We'll file through pretty quickly.
George: Like me.
Tim: A little longer, but yes.
Jack: It's going to be a busy year.
November 03
Jack: Where's James?
Benjamin: Published. Where have you been?
Jack: Acquainting myself with our newest arrivals.
Richard: Quite the horde.
Tim: No need to be insulting.
Fitzgerald: No insult intended.
Henry: Hazards of language changing through the ages.
Leo: Indeed.
Jack: Who's next?
Fitzgerald: I've heard it's a race to the finish.
Richard: Do tell.
Benjamin: A short story, a novella, and a contemporary are neck and neck… and neck.
Jack: Intriguing.
Fitzgerald: Entertaining.
Jack: Who are our competitors?
Eric: I'm the contemporary.
Leo: I'm the short.
Tim: I'm the novella.
Ian: Fascinating.
Jack: All through Desert Breeze?
Tim: I'm too short.
Jack: Our lady is adding more adventure to her life.
Fitzgerald: Honestly, the last thing she needs is more adventure.
Richard: From my observations, she can't help herself.
Eric: True enough.
Jack: Godspeed gentlemen.
November 27
Fitzgerald: Did you hear what our lady called us?
Ian: Cowards, I believe, was the word she used.
Richard: Your outrage is understandable but of little use.
Leo: We need to discover why her feathers are ruffled.
Benjamin: We need not look far.
Tim: Jack?
Jack: What?
Henry: What's he done now?"
Jack: I take exception to the implication--
Benjamin: Stubble it. She's working on "Grace's Possibilities."
Tim: And "Happy New Year?"
Henry: Yeah, but you're in final edits, Tim. No more surprises.
Richard: Benjamin, it's your story. What has it to do with Jack?
Benjamin: Care to explain, Jack? Or shall I?
Jack: It isn't my fault.
Lance: Which means you're involved, one way or another.
Fitzgerald: Indeed. Explain yourself, sir.
Ian: Is he… blushing?
Eric: He is. Didn't know he was capable.
Lance: Bummer to be so old and caught off guard--
Jack: I am not old.
Lance: You're in 1816. You're old.
Richard: Ignore him, Jack, and do tell.
Fitzgerald: Yes, do tell. What have you done?
Jack: You make more of it than it is.
Leo: You're a good man, Jack.
Benjamin: Indeed?
Fitzgerald: Ah. Plot twist.
Richard: Intriguing.
Benjamin: Out with it.
Jack: I do not understand all the fuss. I made an appearance.
Tim: That's it?
Henry: Hardly worth mentioning.
Benjamin: Except he wasn't supposed to appear in MY book.
Jack: It does not last overlong. I promise.
Benjamin: I'll believe it when I see it.
Fitzgerald: Shall we note the possible duration in the betting books?
Leo: Our lady would take exception.
Fitzgerald: Not if she doesn't know. What?
George: You forget who she is. She'll know. Before we do.
Leo: We've surprised her a time or two.
Benjamin: Best to not annoy her.
Richard: Not any more than she already is, at any rate.
Jack: Precisely. She'll land you in places you never intended.
Henry: She does that anyway.
Richard: Truer words were never spoken.
Benjamin: Then she reveals your every secret.
Fitzgerald: Which explains your foul mood.
George: Gentlemen, we are at her mercy.
Richard: It behooves us to tread lightly.
Ian: At least we are assured she favors HEAs.
Leo: For the most part.
George: It's all right, Leo. I'm content. I turned out much better than when I first appeared.
Lance: Sounds like a story.
George: For another day.
Tim: In the meantime, we'll wish our lady's readers a Happy Thanksgiving.
Fitzgerald: Thanksgiving? What is this Thanksgiving?
Henry: An American holiday to thank God for all our blessings.
Eric: George Washington proclaimed, November 26th, 1789, the first national thanksgiving celebration, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."
Jack: Celebrations of thanksgiving date back much earlier.
Benjamin: Attempting a distraction?
Ian: Is it working?
Henry: It's a busy time. It might be considerate if we allow our lady's readers to be about their business.
George: God bless.
ALL: Happy Thanksgiving! 
Jack: Tis the end of another year.
Benjamin: And you're still here.
Lance: Harsh much?
Richard: What did he say?
Henry: Slang criticism for being overly critical.
Fitzgerald: More like rubbing salt in the wound.
Ian: Benji's still in a snit?
Fitzgerald: It's grown worse.
Jack: Indeed.
Benjamin: And would you not in my place?
Richard: Cheer up, Benji, it doesn't last.
Henry: You ARE a hero.
Benjamin: I fear the worst.
Fitzgerald: Is anyone else leery of the coming year?
Jack: Don't know why you'd be, old chap. Your story isn't scheduled for the coming year.
Fitzgerald: True, but I do make an appearance.
Benjamin: No! It's my story!
Lance: Benji, whining is unattractive. Just sayin'.
Benjamin: You sound like Jack!
Lance: Thank you.
Benjamin: You aren't sharing your story with a half dozen other heroes!
Lance: Actually, I am.
Benjamin: Oh.
Henry: And his is a novella.
Fitzgerald: What a lovely shade of red, Benji.
Jack: Stubble it, Fitz.
Benjamin: My humble apologies.
Lance: No problem.
Jack: As long as we stand together, we'll prevail.
Henry: It's what heroes do.
Ian: One for all and all for one?
Lance: This isn't "The Three Musketeers."
Benjamin: There are considerably more than three of us.
Ian: And more on the way.
Fitzgerald: How did you come by this information?
Ian: They keep peeking in the door.
Jack: Looking for room.
Richard: A proper London crush.
Lance: A what?
Jack: Regency slang for really crowded.
Benjamin: Shields up gentlemen.
Henry: It's going to be a year full of adventure.
Fitzgerald: Not a man will be lost.
Richard: Decidedly not.
Lance: Happy New Year!
Jack: Godspeed.

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