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In the beginning, there was the Beat. The throb of the heart, the cycle of the days, the pulse of the waves and rhythms produced by the family's masterful Speaker; it seems to have always been a part of my life, and I suppose always will be. My affinity for it, however, would stay to a large degree in the background, and find other ways to express itself.
Even early on in my life, the Beat was to have a strong impact. While living in the quiet and peaceful Main Stream Village with my parents and going to school with the other children, I found myself becoming distracted from my studies by other interests. While the school was mostly concerned with teaching the primary occupation of the villagers, writing weak stories based on simplistic plots and bad puns, I found myself becoming more and more involved with the strange ideas of a person named Anna Log.
Through Anna Log, I was to catch my first few glimpses of the world beyond our small village, one not tied to the mind-numbing world of puns and boring stories which I had grown up with. But, more importantly, in this world I finally saw a physical manifestation of the Beat more powerful than anything my village could provide. The jump of electrons, the movement of current, the harmony of power and control which I viewed quickly seduced me away from what I felt was the drabness of school.
And then, Anna introduced me to Di Gital. From the moment that I discovered the simple, elegant rhythm of her digits and saw the Beat pulsing so strongly through her that it was almost blinding, I was lost. When my parents, who had always been beyond many of the traditional ways of our village, became aware of my fixation, they were to provide me with the final incentive I needed to become fully immersed in Di Gital's world. They eventually consented to send forth one of the ships of our village's navy, lead by the 64th commodore, to bring back a Compewter of my own. From the minute I began to learn the Compewter magic of creating complex things through only its very simple building blocks of "pewter" and "nonpewter", I knew were my life would lead.
It was also through a box made by Anna for my family that I learned of something else: a strange group known only as the Tea Splats. Nebulous, mysterious, it seemed to me then that the only thing they did was run around all day splatting their tea on the other townfolk, who would then yell angrily about the mess they made and the work they would now have to do to get the stains out of their once clean clothes; work that would only delay the completion of the newest same-old simple stories they had been working on.
I watched the Tea Splats for hours. But no matter how much I looked, I could never quite get a handle on who they were: once I had one in my sight, it seemed to shimmer and slide, and change into someone else. It was a group that strongly aroused my curiosity... and even more strongly, my desire. For I knew, somehow, that I was already a member of this group.
Needless to say, many of the villagers in Main Stream were not happy with my decidedly non-traditional interests. Their lives revolved around the quest to discover new puns, which the elders would then spin into fantastically simple stories, providing the creation of a new novel which would hopefully bring in the royalties upon which our village depended. The continuation of our traditional ways depended on making sure their children followed the same path that they and the generation before them had; the introduction of new ideas and ways of living were of course seen as a threat to everything they believed in.
And I had no intention of staying around to threaten them. Inspite of my distractions from school, I had no trouble finally getting my Dip Llama. But instead of settling down for a life of bad puns and putting my Dip Llama out to pasture, I rode it out of my village and headed for the mystical place, the Call Ledge. When I finally arrived, I discovered what seemed like a dream: students with the same interests as mine, the same passion I felt. And all around, professors shouting down from the Call Ledge about these things that before couldn't so much as be whispered. I soaked up all this freedom and stretched my ear for every bit of new knowledge that I could discover.
When I first came upon the Call Ledge, I wanted to go back to my original interests in childhood, the magic of transportation and control, so I enrolled in Engine Nearing. Though I found it as fascinating as before, I soon realized that it would never be able to replace my fixation with Di Gital. But I also couldn't escape the physical presence of the Beat that I found in Engine Nearing; ultimately I found myself enrolled in both Compewter Magic and Engine Nearing, and working toward a double May du Jour.
At the same time, I began my study of the Tea Splats in earnest. There were few of that group around for me to watch, but at the base of the Call Ledge were all kind of great tomes. I searched through them, and eventually found ones actually written about the Tea Splats: theories on where they came from, descriptions of what they did, speculation on why they made such a mess, treatise on how to clean up after them, biographies written by Tea Splats themselves, and incantations for those who wished to become one too. I quietly read them all, and slowly learned as much as I could about them, while continuing to work on the many lessons being yelled down from above.
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|Dianne Kyra Hackborn <email@example.com>||Last modified: Wed Aug 14 13:58:49 PDT 1996|