Ultima: The Civil War

            Setting: Castle Britannia. The Avatar has just left Stonegate and teleported here. Instead of Rule Britannia, however, the song from the Ken Burns documentory echos through the halls.

            Lord British: Avatar! How good to see you again! Britannia is in dire need of thine aid!

            Avatar: (sighs) Isn't it always? Alright, what happened this time?

            Lord British: A Civil War hast spread over Britannia, Avatar! The cities of Moonglow and Britain wage war against each other for supremacy!

            Avatar: So, which side do I brutally slaughter and kill?

            Lord British: Neither, Avatar! You're supposed to be Virtuous! Besides, the Guardian is probably behind all this. The Virtuous thing to do would be to brutally slaughter and kill HIM!

            Avatar: Then what should I do before I gain enough experience and activate the proper game flags to fight the Guardian?

            Lord British: Try talking to the leaders of Britain and Moonglow. See if you can resolve their conflict without bloodshed. Here is a special Orb of the Moons. I call it the Linearity Orb. It will always teleport you exactly where you need to go next and then refuse to let you leave this place until you've completed the sub-quest here. When you're finished in this place, it will teleport you to the next location.

            Avatar: Do I have any choice in where I want to go?

            Lord British: Nope. Absolutely none. It will also pervent you from saying anything to people except for certain stock responses. Well, good luck, Avatar!

            The Avatar appears in the Cathedral of Love in Britain. A horrifyingly familiar figure wearing a stovepipe hat stands in front of him.

            Abraham Lincoln: Greetings, Avatar! I heard thou wert back in Britannia!

            Avatar: Lincoln??!!??!! WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON HERE?????!!!!!!!!

            Lincoln: Lord British appointed me head of Britain. But he put that traitor Jefferson Davis in charge of Moonglow. Now I lead the Union of Britannia, while Davis calls his kingdom the Confederacy of Britannia. It's his fault, anyways. They attacked Fort Sumter first, starting the whole war. The Union won't stop until Davis surrenders!

            The Avatar appears in the Lycaeum. Another 19th century figure stands before him.

            Jefferson Davis: Hail, Avatar. Tis a pleasure to see thee in Britannia. Mayhaps thou canst aid us.

            Avatar: Who the hell are you??

            Davis: Never read the history books on Earth, did you?

            Avatar: Unlike the Britannian ones, they were more than three pages long.

            Davis: Oh well. No one remembers the losing side, anyways. I never stood out as much as Lincoln either. Well, I'm Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy of Britannia.

            Avatar: So, Lincoln beat you on Earth, why shouldn't he again? Why not give up?

            Davis: I can't give up! The South, er, East will never surrender to the tyranny of Lincoln, the Union, and the Republican party! The Republicans are the very opposite of the Constit--, er, Eight Virtues! They refuse to let us have the right to keep slaves! Why, British okayed slaves back when Britannia was founded.

            Avatar: He did??

            Davis: Actually, it was Blackthorn, but senile LB forgot to change it back, so we've been keeping slaves ever since.

            Avatar: I see…

            The Avatar appears in Valoria in front of him is Sir Corwin, who is humming the Ken Burns tune.

            Corwin: I am Sir Corwin, Avatar. I am leader of Valoria, and try to keep peace between the Union and the Confederacy.

            Avatar: How do you do that?

            Corwin: My two brothers, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, each lead one of the armies. I'm using my influence over them to delay the fighting. Lee is also an Abolitionist, but he's on Moonglow's side because he feels loyalty to his home town.

            Avatar: Say, why aren't you another historical figure?

            Corwin: The author was running out of ideas off the top of his head.

            Valk Swadjen the Bard: Hey! I object to that statement!

            Corwin: Oops, sorry…

            Suddenly, Corwin is stabbed by a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. The Avatar is teleported to the Shrine of Justice. Lincoln, Davis, Grant, Lee, and the Union and Confederate armies are all here, about to attack each other. A fully orchestrated chorus plays the Ken Burns theme with the UW2 percussion and drum-beats in the background.

            Avatar: Wait! Stop, all of you! The war was instigated by the Guardian and Blackthorn! Corwin's ghost can prove it!

            Corwin appears, now as a ghost. He speaks with one of those dumb echoing voices ghosts have in U9.

            Corwin: My second-in-command is really a servant of the Guardian in disguise! He was also really William Tecumsah Sherman and Stonewall Jackson!

            Corwin's assistant bursts into flame and turns into… Nathan Bedford Forest!

            N.B. Forest: That's Nathan "Blackthorn" Forest now, thanks.

            Oops… sorry.

            N.B. Forest: No harm done.

            Avatar: Blackthorn! I should have known you'd be here, licking at the Guardian's heels!

            All (including the Guardian and Arcadion) burst out laughing at the Avatar's horrible voice acting.

            Avatar: Hey! It wasn't my fault! The damn Linearity Orb made me say that!

            Lord British steps out of a purple moongate.

            Lord British: Yes! I've decided to can this whole Civil War story, Avatar! Instead, you'll destroy these dumb columns and meet NPCs who can't move!

            Avatar: How could you betray Britannia in such a manner, milord?

            Suddenly, Lord British grows younger and transforms into a hideous, monstrously evil creature that revels in deceit and finds pleasure in robbing its very worshipers of their dignity and life savings.

            Richard Garriot: Hahaha!!!! I am invincible, Avatar! The Linearity Orb shall make thou do my bidding!!!!! And then shall come UO2!!!!! And then X!!!!!!!! And then my twin brother, Ed Del Castillo, shall rule by my side as we ravage all of Origin's worlds!!!!!!!!

            Avatar: No!!!!!!!! I cannot let that evil pass, Garriot!!!!!!! The dark entity Electronic Arts stole and corrupted Origin because you let it!!!!! I cannot let you corrupt Origin's worlds as well!!!!!!!

            Richard Garriot: You have no choice, Avatar!!!!!!!!! The Linearity Orb shall keep you from stopping me!!!!!!!!

            Avatar: Then I shall drop the Linearity Orb!

            The Avatar throws the orb to the ground. The little green light on the CD-Rom begins to flash and glow. The regular Windows mouse appears.

            Richard Garriot: NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU'VE CRASHED THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMN YOU AVATAR, DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Suddenly, the Avatar wakes up.

            Avatar: Whew! It was all a bad dream!

            The Guardian chuckles. The Avatar looks around. He sits in a Middle School classroom, listening to a middle-aged hag of a teacher babble on about the Civil War.

            Avatar: NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'VE BEEN TRANSPORTED BACK TO 8th GRADE!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMN YOU GUARDIAN, DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Meanwhile, in the Ethereal Void…

            Forude the Druid: You know, that ending seemed kind of cruel…

            Hanhdah the Tinker: How so?

            Forude: Well, the Avatar definitely deserves better than he got, after stopping Garriot, the greatest menace to ever face Britannia.

            Nehsun the Ranger: I don't think the Avatar stopped him. Garriot did release the game even with all the bugs. The Avatar only delayed Garriot's progress towards the death of Britannia.

            Forude: Still, the Avatar deserved better.

            Hanhdah: You're right. Let's talk to Valk about it.

            Valk Swadjen the Bard enters.

            Valk S: Hey guys!

            Nehsun: Say Valk, the ending you thought up was kinda cruel, having the Avatar transported back to 8th grade.

            Valk S: So? My 8th grade history teacher was worse than his! Some Fundamentalist bitch who kept going "Jesus this!" "Jesus that!" I swear, got on my nerves, 'specially since I was a Secular Satanist at the time…

            Hanhdah: But 8th grade is hell no matter what!

            Valk S: Yes, you're right.

            Suddenly, Moscow launches a Nuclear Missile which lands directly on the Avatar's school. A huge portion of the map is wiped out.

            Forude: Whoa! What the hell was that?!

            Valk S: I put the Avatar out of his misery.

            Nehsun: But you started World War III!

            Valk S: So? Everyone knew it'd happen in 2000. Besides, Yletsin never should have resigned. He was on good terms with Clinton. And now Ultima ][ will fit in with continuity!

            Hanhdah: You're right! Excellent idea!

            The year 2112. The only city left on Earth is Moscow, now known as Pirate's Harbor. A Time Gate opens up on North America. The Avatar steps out.

            Avatar: Damn! So I've got the Quicksword, now what? How do I get to Pirate's Harbor so I can blast off into space and get Father Antos' blessing?

            Suddenly, another Time Gate appears. Nathan Blackthorn Forest rides out.

            N.B. Forest: Die, Avatar!!!

            The Avatar kills N.B's horse, bringing Forest down to the ground.

            N.B. Forest: I personally killed 31 men in close-ranged combat during the Civil War and had 30 horses shot out from under me. I've often been fond of saying "I was one horse short." Now I'll have to kill you so that I can keep that expression, seeing as you've killed my horse!

            Avatar: Don't talk to me like that! I am the Avatar of Virtue, Eight Times Savior of Britannia (sings)

I am the very model of a modern virt'us Avatar
I've information Spiritual, Valiant, and Hon'rable
I know the spells and runes of Britain
And I quote the games historical
From Exodus to Underworld in order catagorical!

            The Avatar (being an embodiment of Honor, after all) throws away all his bows, crossbows, slings, magic wands, firedoom staves, and other ranged whatnot. He and N.B. draw swords and fight. Suddenly, the Avatar kneels over and begins to die.

            Avatar: Starving… forgot… to steal enough food… back in… New San Antonio… should have remembered… need to eat 1 food every turn… even when… in… combat…

            Conclusion: The Avatar dies before killing Minax or Exodus, or even becoming the Avatar. As a result, the entire timestrean becomes totally screwed up. And nothing exists or makes sense anymore. Richard Garriot replies "In Britannia, time works differently!" Garriot refuses to comment further, insisting that this is a perfectly logical explanation for everything. Valk Swadjen the Bard is quite frank, saying "Oh, who the f*** cares? It was funny." This leads to the Avatar in a different timestream sueing Valk for using his alternate life as a form of entertainment. All charges are dropped, as the various timelines involved (including Garriot and Origin, who were also sued) become so screwed that they all systematically self destruct, leaving only Valk Swadjen the Bard, Forude the Druid, Hanhdah the Tinker, and Nehsun the Ranger. These four did not speak or move for 800 years, as they were watching every episode of Twilight Zone (original black and white), Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the Director's Cut of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

            Valk S: And then there was light!

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