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Revelations of the Kraken (Chapter 44: Falling Down)

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4 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

That! Is! Awesome!

Now 'shop into Dr. Phil with the "cash me outside" wench.:ph34r:

Ewwww....... No!!!  hehehe

I would rather feed her to a Kraken.... except that's cruelty to Krakens... lmao.... 

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2 hours ago, Just Jim said:

Ewwww....... No!!!  hehehe

I would rather feed her to a Kraken.... except that's cruelty to Krakens... lmao.... 

Hahahaha very true. 




Please tell me that's not the ending to the story. Feeding a kash me ousside kerblet to the Kraken, which then drives it to kill itself and release it's Kraken goo slaves. That would be super anticlimactic.

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On 8/16/2017 at 6:03 AM, vsully said:

Please tell me that's not the ending to the story. Feeding a kash me ousside kerblet to the Kraken, which then drives it to kill itself and release it's Kraken goo slaves. That would be super anticlimactic.

Oh, c'mon, I'm only 8 chapter in! :sticktongue: But speaking of which, it's been an unusually productive week, at least for writing. Chapter 8 is done pending a final readthru and should be up later tonight, and I've even got the beginnings of chapter 9 down, and it's not even Friday. :D

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Dead inside
No other satisfies
My blood runs dry, take my life
Save me from this death inside


Chapter 8: Dead Inside

Edgas sat huddled by the window, a once-fresh mug of damp coffee grounds growing cold on the tiny table. He turned from watching the snow swirl in the inky twilight outside, instead looking for the steady, slow rise-and-fall from the blanket on the bed. The machines were all off, now, that was good. She seemed to be healing at a remarkable rate. 

At least, her body did. 

That, alone, was troubling. He turned back toward the window, absently rubbing at the little crescent scar in his right palm. For a moment... just a moment... the snow seemed to whirl into something recognizable, but just as fast it was gone again. 

Jumping at shadows, he thought, like always.

Once more he looked to the bed, then down at his own hands. He paused, staring at them, turning them this way and that. Faint lines had already begun to set in on his left, marking the spots that would one day bear wrinkles. They criss-crossed up over his knuckles, slowly wearing into the skin from a thousand subtle daily motions. Some days, cold ones like this, he could just feel a dim, distant aching deep in the joints. 

His eyes moved to his right hand. Here, the skin was soft, smooth, flawless save for the scar. As fresh and ageless as it had been years ago, when—

Say dummy again.

Unbidden, his hand curled into a fist. Edgas could feel it even now, the strength and power of youth that the young are ignorant to. 

He balled his left hand. It was not weak, not yet. A regular routine in the station gym saw to that. But in a few years, another decade, maybe two... and yet his right arm would always lag behind. 

His eyes returned to the slumbering form on the bed. Mystery Goo had... restorative properties that, oddly enough despite its use as a standard experiment medium, had never been explored. And Edgas had never mentioned. Things had been... difficult enough, after... 

...But even then, he had learned to trust his gut. 

With that thought, he produced his evanescent tablet, and tapped at it. Jagged lines filled the screen. Her latest brain scan, taken while she slept. Still with the same chaotic patterns. The ones he recognized, from a mental hospital a lifetime ago. 

Again he tapped, and new lines appeared. Muted, serene, logical. His own scan, from just this morning. Being in here all the time at least made that easy. Every week, the same routine, creeping into the AutoDoc while the station slept. Always vigilant, always searching his own mind for any hint of...


And there it was, but in the un-dead Ussari Kerbonaut's mind. 


Could she have been to the Mün? The Ussaris were known— notorious, even— for doing such things and covering them up when they went bad. But why a KSA command pod? And how?

Not that much of a stretch, the Practical Kerbal in him chided, after all, decades ago, a wayward Omorkian bomber landed in their territory by mistake. They managed to not only copy but mass produce from that one example within months, and by every measure the copies were superior to the original.

Edgas nodded at himself. But still, where—?

The Company has been supplying the Ussaris with technology since their space program began, the Scientist in him added, for all anyone knows they simply handed them the plans.

Edgas nodded again. But still, why?

He didn't have an answer for that. But these were all ancillary concerns, anyway. If she had been to the Mün, stood before the Anomaly like Edmund and—

His lips drew into a thin line. 

If she was... tainted... even after everything he had done on Bop, and on the Mün itself, after Burdous's own odyssey...

Coincidences. All coincidences. He never would have thought any of it possible, until...

His fingernails dug into his palms as his hands balled into fists once more. 

Where did that kerb on the talk show get the broken seal of the Kraken?!?

They were on Bop!

They'd been left on Bop!

Burdous had left them on—!

A thought tried to pry its way into his head, but Edgas rejected it like a parasite. 

Yes, they are, the Scientist said, the kerb on the screen was obviously clever, but not quite stable, either. You know his type. You've seen them before. Used them before. If he's done the reading, it's a simple enough thing to fabricate evidence to draw attention, and attention is what he's really after.

Yes. Attention. Like all the others. 

The figure on the bed groaned, and rolled over just slightly. A light, breathy snore added some sound to the small room. Edgas looked at her. He'd already made up his mind long ago. Tainted or not, whatever the cost, he already knew he'd do whatever it took to protect her. 

No sooner had the thought formed in his head than the shadows in the dim room began to shift and writhe. They twisted into horrifying, eye-watering forms, wriggling like worms in carrion. The light fled as if forsaking the world. 

Yet in the darkness, Edgas saw the figure on the bed rise. It turned its not-face to him, stared into him with two abyss-like pools of nothing.

Pressure.... pressure in his mind, and then—


Edgas felt his eyes grow wide, his lips pull back from his teeth in a rictus of horror. 


The shadows washed over him, tearing at him, pulling the air from his lungs. The taste of alkali stung through his throat. He raised his hands against the tempest, and saw only the bleached off-white of dry, weathered bones. 

Edgas jolted upright, screaming, flailing against...

There was nothing there. 

The room was as it always had been, quiet and dim, a slumbering form on the bed. He stared at his trembling, but quite normal hands, before wiping a crust of drool and sweat and coffee grounds from his chin. 

Just a nightmare... hallucinating...

You know better than most what sleep deprivation does to a person...

Yes, Edgas did indeed. 

And he also knew that such things were not to be ignored. 


A jaunty tune came whistling down a darkened, empty hallway, followed closely by the custodian pushing a mop and bucket. It was late, of course, it was always late, but a custodian's work was never done. 

That seemed to be especially true, these days, he mused as he whistled along. There was never a shortage of... unusual cleanups in a busy hospital like this, even one far away from the bustle of the big cities. And lately they had been well, a bit more unusual. And a bit more frequent. 

But the pay was good, and he didn't have a boss breathing down his neck all day. Er, night. And sometimes he nicked snacks from the cafeteria. Those were very good. As long as they came from the bin marked "staff." Anything in a bin marked "patients" was, well, not good. 

He'd just come from there now, with a belly full of staff snacks and a bucket full of, presumably, patient snacks. Slightly used. Management wanted the space spotless for tomorrow, some sort of big news conference. People coming in from all over. He took no interest in such things. As long as the checks cleared he'd scrub what they wanted scrubbed and see it done well, to boot. 

But the snacks were a nice bonus. 

In fact, he even—

The jaunty whistle ended on a sour note. 


That was... odd.

The custodian raised a hand to his chin, tapping a finger against it thoughtfully. He walked up to the large double doors at the end of the hall.

Now... who would go and do a thing like that?

Raising an eye... bulge, he bent and picked up a name badge lying on the floor. He wiped away a smear of black with a thick thumb. 

Ah, an orderly. That figures. 

He rubbed at the much bigger black smudges on the doors. 

Dried. That's going to be a royal pain to clean.

His hand returned to his chin as he read aloud the words scrawled on the doors, "don't... dead... open... inside..."

Now what on Kerbin did that mean?

Whoever put it on there appeared to have shackled the doors together with a heavy chain and a stout lock, too.

That was... very odd.

But it simply would not do.

So, he produced his trusty set of bolt cutters that no custodian should ever be without. But... clamping the jaws around the lock hasp, he heard...

...or did he?

With a frown, he pressed his ear to the door.



Wait... no...


He almost... could hear something, like... mumbling... and shuffling... just on the other side of the door. 

Or was it just those rickety old air handlers again?

Well either way, a locked door in his hospital just would not do! He was the custodian after all, and he locked all the doors around here!

Except for management, and, well... anyways...

He set the cutters on the lock once more and gave them a mighty squeeze! The lock snapped with a loud ping, and he quickly tore off the chains and threw the doors open wide. 

And screamed. 

Inside... inside, he saw...

...two people dancing around dancing around in a field of flour to some truly horrendous music. 

Face white as a sheet, the custodian slammed the doors shut again and braced his back to them, chest heaving. 

Now, he was as open-minded as you please but that was simply not the way to go about making bread! The custodian quickly pulled the chains back on, pausing to frown at the ruined padlock. With only a moment's further consideration, he simply tied a good, strong knot in the chain, then stood back to admire his handiwork with a little smile on his face. 

It faded. 

There was still the matter of the black paint sprawled on the doors. That absolutely would not do, horrible music or no. But, a custodian's work was never done, so he turned to the broom closet across the hall and unlocked the door. 

Now, to find the turpentine and—



Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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3 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Dig it. Two Revelations chapters in the same week, and two ALIEN SKIES write ups done! I am on a roll this week!  :cool:(Yes, I have no life.)

But then... why do I have a bad feeling about tomorrow? :0.0:

Dun dun duuuun!

That's a heck of a week though - I can but dream of such productivity. :) 


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On 8/18/2017 at 4:40 AM, KSK said:

Dun dun duuuun!

That's a heck of a week though - I can but dream of such productivity. :) 


Yup, as I suspected, got doodly squat done yesterday, at least textually. Conceptually tho, there's a brand new nationality for me to blatantly insult poke fun at. :D




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7 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Yup, as I suspected, got doodly squat done yesterday, at least textually. Conceptually tho, there's a brand new nationality for me to blatantly insult poke fun at. :D

  Reveal hidden contents




Ahhh, the well known chain of kerbal furniture stores. :) 


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  • 2 weeks later...

With special thanks to @Ten Key and also @StrandedonEarth, who'll look at this and be all like 647Stxn.png?1

From the uprooted stump shall he spring,
His hands shall know work, and his back, the lash.
He shall reach down and lift up the downtrodden,
With his hand, he shall snatch the broken as they fall.


Chapter 9: Pride

"Mmmpf..." the blanketed form on the bed groaned, and looked over at Edgas with sleep-squinty eyes, "is... everything all right? I thought I heard scream..." 

"Er... um... sorry about that," he stammered, "I, uh, spilled my coffee." He held up the upturned mug. 

She squinted a bit more, "must have been good coffee."

As if in answer, a blob of damp coffee grounds slipped free and hit the table with a plup.

She rubbed at her eyes with the heels of her hands, "so... was no scream?"

Edgas could feel a betraying grin dawning on his face, "no, no scream."

"Oh, ok."

He looked at her. 

She squinted at him. 

"You know, you do not need to stay here all the time," she said at length, "I am... feeling much better."

"Oh, yeah, probably not," Edgas said with that awkward grin, "I just want to have someone close by. Like, if you need anything."

"No, really," she said flatly, "is getting little creepy."

He felt color tint his cheeks, "oh... well... uh, I'll have to confer with Doc. Maybe we can rig up a call button, or something."

"Yes, ok," she began trying to shuffle to the edge of the bed, "but, is something I must do."

"I know, I know," Edgas tried to force his grin into something comforting, "we'll get it figured out, somehow. We're here to help."

She eyed him, but kept shuffling, "no, I must go, now." 

"Go?" his eyes widened, "you can't go anywhere! This is the North Pole in the middle of an arctic storm. I mean, we don't even know if you can walk, yet!"

"Is important."

"I'm sure it is, but—" he rushed over to her, "you... you can't just leave!"

"You do not understand."

"No, I don't understand! I don't understand any of this! Where you came from, where you've been the last decade, how you're even still alive! We'll figure this out, I promise, but you have to stay!"

She grunted annoyance, "no, is very important. I must go."

"No, you can't go!" he put an arm on her shoulder, "it's not safe out there."

"Must go. Now! You do not understand!"

"Then help me," Edgas nearly shrieked, "make me understand!"

"You do not— ugh!" her hands curled into claws, "must go to—" now she squeezed her eyes shut, and spoke through clenched teeth, "...little girl's room."


Edgas's face didn't just go red, it went right past red without so much as a wave, barreled through the infrared, thumbed its nose at microwaves, and wound up somewhere on the FM radio band playing easy listening in rural Loneankopa on an old Kerborola with foil on the antenna. 

"Sorry... sorry... sorry..," he blundered, "oh, I'm sorry... I mean, I didn't... that is... well, I was trying to... um, here, let me help—"

"Get back!" she snapped at him. 

"Well, you still haven't been up and about, yet, and–"

"I am fine, get off!"

"....Wouldn't want you to fall, and—"

"I kill you!"

"I would like to see you try, 'cuz that would be a really huge improvement and—"

"Gah!" she snarled, and something in her eyes made Edgas step back very smartly. 

"Ok... ok... just take it easy, now..."

She went to throw the blankets off, but paused, as if still remembering what had happened the last time she had done such a thing when she woke up here. Eyes narrowing, she peeked under the blankets. 

Then her face snapped up with a look that made Edgas go back another step. 

"Ok... ok... I can explain..." he raised his hands in warding, "we didn't have any small hospital gowns— we didn't really have any small anything, most of the guys here are pretty big— and, well, the best we could come up with... y'see, that is... Lenory  has this hobby of knitting, bit odd for a burly guy like that, I know, but anyways... well, he made that for his daughter, but the mail here is kinda unreliable, and anyways, well, since there's the storm and all, too, and—"

"I kill you," she said, soft and with no hint of emotion, "slow, like bolf."

Edgas swallowed hard, "ok... I get it... pink's not your color..."

Face still blank, she threw the covers off. She was clad in a long nightgown, that was, indeed, pink. Extremely pink. Quite possibly the pinkest pink there had ever been. Surely, here was a pink by which all other pinks would be weighed, measured, and most assuredly, found wanting. 

It was festooned with happy little ponies. And unicorns. 

With murder in her eyes, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed. And nearly toppled over backwards from the momentum. For a moment, she tried to brace herself on the railing with the arm in a sling, but winced and shifted away. Supported instead by her other arm, she set one tentative, stubby toe on the floor... flinched at the cold... managed a foot... Never dropping his gaze, she set the other one down. 

Then she rose like a phoenix, swaying just a bit, her eyes locked on him. Unbroken, unbowed, unbent; burning with raw defiance. 

And dropped like a stone. 

But in an instant, he was there.

"I've got you," Edgas said softly, pulling her up. She felt like a bag of bones in his arms. 

"Get off me!"

"Nope, sorry. Not gonna let you fall and re-break your arm," he grinned even as she struggled, "that OsteoFiber's expensive."

"I am fine, let go!"

"Can't do that."

"Let go!"


"I kill you!"

"G'on and try."

"I kill—!" her struggles died away to silent, breathless sobs.

"C'mon, one foot in front of the other," Edgas whispered, "little steps. I'll help you to the door, there's grab bars inside."

She gave one last futile, half-hearted squirm before letting him wrap her good arm around his neck. 

"Easy does it," he nudged her on, "don't worry, I've got you... left foot... right foot... left foot... just one at a time... a little more..." he half-carried her across the tiny room to the door on the far side, her head never rising. 

"All right, here you go," he pushed the door open, "you've got it?" she gave a little nod, face still hidden behind a curtain of hair already damp with sweat. He watched an uncomfortable moment longer to make sure she really did have hold of the bars before letting the door snick shut. 

Edgas leaned up against the wall next to it, and let out a long breath. No sooner was he alone than a thousand and one worries tried to rampage through his mind at once. It was dangerous to have her here, he knew that, even if he didn't know why. She couldn't leave yet, that much was certain. Even if she could... where would they go? He grew ever more sure the answers to all this and more lay in that smashed computer core. He wondered if—

The sound of running water drew his ear, followed a moment later by a muffled "eek!" Maybe he should have warned her that here in the arctic, 'hot water' was really a relative term. 

The door opened, she propped herself up against the jamb and raised a threatening fist in his face. 

Then flicked water on it. 

"Is no towel."

Edgas winced. He should surely know better than that, "er... sorry. I'll be sure to get one." He offered a hand, and this time she let herself be helped back without fighting, "one thing at a time... one thing at a time."


"One at a time, please, one at a time!" the Chief Physician's composure wavered under the onslaught of hands, but she recovered with a thin smile, "thank you. Now, you, sir?" She pointed.

"Ranwell Kerman, ma'am, Kerbin City Gazette," the reporter said, even as he flipped through his notes, "I realize you've been over this already, but given the situation I would just like to confirm... there have been no reported deaths from this mystery illness?"

The thin smile bloomed into a wide grin, while across the crowded room, Haywood's frown deepened. He dropped his eyes and went back to flicking through the messages on his slim, transparent phone.

"That is correct," the Chief practically beamed, "despite the severity of this illness, there have been no deaths. The patients here are receiving absolutely the best care possible, anywhere."

"No deaths... that you know of..?" the reporter pried.

Again, the grin cracked an imperceptible fraction, "no deaths, period, Mr. Ranwell. Since the very first case presented itself, County General Hospital has been working diligently with the Medical Center at Northern Kleptogart University, under extremely controlled, secured conditions here at this very facility, and with the approval and oversight of the Kleptogart Center for Disease Control. We are moving tirelessly towards a cure and a vaccine, and have recently entered into an agreement with the Biomedical Division of the Layland-Wutani Corporation that will place even more resources at our disposal."

Heywood grunted. More hands went up.

"Yes, you sir?" the Chief said.

"Kartopher Kerman, mum," this one said with a distinguished Omork accent, "The Times of Kermingh'm. Now, you've just mentioned that you are pursuing a vaccine, if all the cases are here in this hospital, is a vaccine strictly necess'ry?"

The grin twitched, "eradication of this illness requires not only curative therapy but also protection for the population at large. Of all the diseases that have been relegated to the history books in the last decade— duck pox, scolio, XKCD— each one came about not only through aggressive treatment of the afflicted but from elimination of the pathogen in the wild. Thanks to such strategies, these scourges of Kerbaldom now exist only in secured laboratories."

Another round of hands, "Dmitri Kermanev, Kemangrad Union. With disease so contagious, is not prudent to maybe quarantine hospital and surrounding area?"

"I believe that would be a bit rash. While the illness is highly contagious, it is only spread through physical, person-to-person contact. This actually makes controlling any further outbreak significantly more easy. Very simple and well established barrier protocols, similar to those used during the kebola outbreak in Ugaraya twenty years ago, have proven quite adequate."

"Yet vaccine is still priority?"

"This is only prudent."

"Billgee Kerman, Kleptogart Today. You say that no one has yet died from the illness, but have any of your patients even shown improvement with treatment?"

"This is a new kind of pathogen, and not yet fully understood. But we are working tirelessly and diligently with our partners towards an effective cure, and are learning at an ever-increasing rate. All right here, at this hospital, in an example of what proper funding can do even away from the urban centers."

"Bjørksen Kjermansen, Nefcarkalandern Børknjürnl. Ja, før sure, with the Tripartite Børder only 50 kilømeters away frøm this place, and the third and føurth møst pøpuløus cities in all of beautiful Nefcarkaland ønly 50 kilømeters beyønd that, shøuld the Nefcarkalandern be at all cøncerned with the spread øf this terrible illness intø their lands, and the pøtential disruptiøn to the gløbal supply of meatballs and ready-tø-assemble furniture that wøuld cause, børk børk?"

"Absolutely not," the Chief's smile remained as wide as ever. Heywood had to give her that much credit, she was holding up well. But then, bureaucrats usually had a knack for such things. A new message buzzed in on his phone, and went back to tuning her out. 

"There is no danger to this community," she continued, "or especially to our friends in Omork and Nefcarkaland. Every precaution is being observed."

"Kim Kerman, KRBL-TV On-The-Spot News. You've stressed that the infection is only passed person-to-person, but is some other vector not outside the realm of possibility?"

"We do not believe so. This is one area of study where we have gained significant ground in a very short time, despite also being stymied by it. Attempts to infect any other life form with the pathogen in order to study it in our lab, mice, rats, fruit flies, et cetera; even on a cellular level, have been completely unsuccessful. It will only infect a Kerbal host, thus transmission by any other vector is impossible. Unfortunately, this also makes it somewhat more difficult to study."

"Halol Kerman, The National Inquisiton," murmurs from the gathered crowd, as if nobody had expected that, "you've been referring to this illness in very general terms, but does it have an actual name yet?"

A nod from the Chief, as if she had expected that, "based on the initial symptomatic resemblance to common influenza, we've been using the working designation F9H1. Now, are there any more questions?"

One more hand went up, "Frank Kerman, ma'am. Um... I work at the docks, <cough>." More ripples of murmurs spread through the crowd. Heywood forgot all about his phone. A face tilted up from beneath a wide-brimmed fedora. It looked decidedly... unwell. 

Slowly, a bubble of space began to grow around it. 

"I- <cough>  I wanna know what you say to the rumors <cough> going 'round that there are mobs of sick people wandering the city, in places no one cares <cough>, spreading this thing around right under your... er, face? <coughcough>"

The Chief Physician's smile drained away like a lanced boil. Glances were exchanged, and a pair of large orderlies began making their way through the gathering, pulling on rubber gloves as they did. 

"Patently untrue!" she nearly shrieked, "there have been no new cases reported since the initial series of of infections, not since the Hospital got involved. All the sick are here, and they are well cared for, and are working diligently, and tirelessly, to..."

The tempo of the mutters began to rise. People turned to each other in hushed voices. 

The Chief slammed her hand down on the podium, drawing a gasp from the crowd, "no! There is no danger here! I said, the situation! (Gasp!) Is! (Gasp!) Under! (Gasp!) CONTROL!!!" She slammed her hand down one last time, the crowd silenced, all eyes now looking towards her with shock and more than a little fear. She glared back at them, another satisfied grin blooming on her face like a fever. 

"Now then," she began, in a calm, professional tone, "if there are no more—"

A hand touched her shoulder. 

"Yes, what? What is it? Can't you see I'm in the middle of—?"



Edited by CatastrophicFailure
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OK, that's not good. 

And somehow diligently and tirelessly reminds me very much of the  strong and stable slogan of the last UK election...

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On 9/3/2017 at 4:22 AM, KSK said:

OK, that's not good. 

And somehow diligently and tirelessly reminds me very much of the  strong and stable slogan of the last UK election...

There are worse electoral slogans, believe me... :rolleyes:


In other news...


Behold, I saw the Mün become as red as blood, and the stars flee the sky,
The seas raged upon the land, and fire scourged the hills,
While kings and princes reveled in their place of power.
I saw all this, and was much afraid.

My camera skills can't quite capture it, but there is one bad-looking moon rising. Perhaps writing about the apocalypse during the apocalypse was poor timing. :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmm, I think my Val is taking lessons from yours, @CatastrophicFailure... I could have sworn that the "Minmus Waystation" I launched last night was un-kerbed and when I came to it this morning there was Valentina sat in the Cupola... half-way to Minmus :mad:

Thankfully those waystations are built to extend the hab time of kerbed missions so it has snacks and lots of life support but still... dang-it Valentina, now I have to design, test and fly a kerbed mission out to Minmus months ahead of time :mad: and the next project was supposed to be the deep space communications relay for the upcoming unkerbed Duna and Moho flights...

Finally finished reading everything you've written so far though and I loved it all! When the Kraken trilogy is done will you be pulling all three books together into something eReader friendly? (PLEASE! :D)

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