Not even when we are drawn apart
Nor when the fire is quenched in our heart
Nor when evil tells us to
Or we're sure not to see next morning's dew
And life will from our body ooze
Will we stop eating Chocolate Mousse!
The Chocolate Mousse Peckers
THE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PECKERS by Richard Karsmakers
It was dead silent on the evening streets and the moon was
hidden from sight by thick clouds, Empironda 7th 107 Emperial
reckoning - October 7th 2124 in 20th century pre-Emperial
reckoning. The leaves rustled in miniature whirlwinds; in the
distance, a church bell tolled eight. The rest was total silence.
Or was it?
The dark silhouette of a girl could be seen sneaking through the
street, her feet making muffled sounds on the pavement. She
looked around constantly, as if she was afraid that someone might
She stood still for a moment when she heard the noise of an
engine, slowly becoming louder and louder. Her eyes opened wide
with fear and she dashed for the next corner. The vehicle she had
heard coming nearer turned into the street at that precise
moment, a beam of light tracking the pavement and the asphalt.
When the beam had found the girl, it remained fixed on her.
Someone with a megaphone appeared through the roof of the
"HALT! Stop or we will open fire!". The echoes of the voice
faded away into the autumn sky.
The girl halted for a second, as if trying to decide what to do,
then ran away with even more vigour then before. A shot cracked
through the darkness; the girl staggered for a moment, then fell
forward to the ground. A bottle fell from her pocket and broke to
pieces on the street.
The scent of oranges tainted the air.
Soft singing could be heard in the cellar of the house. In that
cellar, some people where gathered together for a special
occasion. The songs where obviously related to a momentum of some
kind, since lyrics about history and endeavour could be heard if
one would take the trouble of listening more intently.
The singing ceased as a man clad in black lifted his hand.
"Where's Samantha?," he asked, "She should have been here an
hour or more ago!". Concern could be heard in his voice and seen
in his eyes. He looked around him at the others that were in
Nobody answered. They dreaded to answer, for there was but one
answer possible, really. They looked at two very old men that
were also present in the group. These merely sighed deeply, then
looked at a small table in the corner that contained a packet of
milk, a cup of cream, some chocolate and various other
A girl started to cry softly. The man clad in black put his arm
around her. "Melanie," he said softly, "she will probably have
been held up somewhere, or having to take a longer route to avoid
being tailed. She's probably just..."
The doorbell chimed.
"Silence!", the man whispered, "that could be a group of
Imperial Troopers! I will go and see. None of you utter a word!"
He dashed up the stairs and closed the cellar door carefully
behind him. The bell chimed again, and some knocking could now
also be heard on the heavy wooden front door.
The man took a gun from his pocket, flicked the safety switch
and inserted it back in his pocket again. He heaved a deep sigh.
The knocking persisted, only louder now.
The vehicle came nearer to the body and the broken bottle that
lay at its side. The engine roared and was turned off at several
feet distance. A door opened and a man came out. He wore a green
uniform and helmet. His eyes looked blankly at what was lying on
the street. Blood oozed from a wound in the body's back. The man,
an officer of the Imperial Army, sniffed.
"Cointreau;" he said as he recognized the smell, "another one of
those C.M.P. fanatics." He bent down and searched the victim's
pockets for some ID. He took out a small booklet.
"Samantha P. Dean", he read aloud, "22 Crescent Cove, Student."
"It's those damn students all the time! They're never satisfied
with what they get." someone in the vehicle said.
The man that stood over the body nodded and climbed back in the
vehicle. It then drove away slowly, its light beam searching the
pavement and the asphalt for other people that defied curfew.
The body remained in the middle of the street. The pool of blood
next to it grew bigger slowly.
The body moved.
The man opened the door, prepared for everything but what he
saw: A girl hanging numbly against the door post, blood stained
on her dress.
"Samantha!" the man in black exclaimed while looking outside to
see whether nobody was around, "come in! Hurry!"
He closed the door quickly behind him after having helped the
wounded girl to get inside. "The Imperial Troops......"
Samantha panted weakly, "they got me, think they killed me....I
couldn't ....the Cointreau..."
Next moment, she lost consciousness.
The man in black knelt down, holding her in his arms, swallowing
hard. Some tears welled in his eyes.
The cellar door opened and some of the people entered the
hallway. They saw what had happened.
"Curse those damn Imperialists!" one of them grumbled.
One of the girls just wept.
"Let's bring her to a place where she can die in peace," the man
in black said after some moments of silence, "I think she
deserves that; she always helped faithfully trying to supply us
with one of the ingredients for the Divine Dessert."
"What a shame that this should eventually happen on the
commemoration of the 158th birthday of Its Creatress," one of the
old men, dressed in a ragged red 'Miami University' sweater that
was largely covered by his long grey beard, spoke slowly. His
voice creaked, but in it could be heard still the vigour of its
He was remarkably old yet strong, and known to be one of the
founders of the 'Chocolate Mousse Peckers', a group of
intellectuals that was formed a little over a hundred years ago
when the country was annexed to the Empire - they had been
forbidden by the Emperial government since the very first day of
Their name had been derived from the favourite dessert of both
its founders, that was henceforth usually served at official
dates and historical occasions - such as this commemoration. The
actual Chocolate Mousse dessert and some of its typical
ingredients (like chocolate and Cointreau liquor) were
subsequently banned by the Emperial government as well. It had
become harder and harder to get the ingredients together for
preparation of the Divine Dessert for the official dates and
The other of the two old men sat silent, fingering his long
beard while staring at a picture hanging on the wall. He was,
just like the aforementioned man, tall and old; yet from his eyes
spoke still eagerness and enthusiasm of old. He wore a dark green
'Classic Snooker' sweater and wore spectacles.
The others now also looked at the picture.
There was a picture of a girl dressed in a purple skirt on it; a
smile of smiles ornamenting her lips. Below it could be read, in
21st century post-Emperial handwriting, something that would
translate to "Alida". Its subtitle would translate to "Creatress
of the Divine Dessert".
"Yes," this old man now said, "Samantha indeed needs to be
brought to a place where she can die in peace." He summoned two
of the younger men to construct a stretcher and carry Samantha
outside through the back door. They would all defy curfew to
bring their friend to a place where she could have some last
"May the Creatress' spirit by with us," the man in black
whispered as they all left the house.
The moon had become visible now, and shed some light upon the
forest and the group of people that now walked through it on
narrow paths. Some owls howled high up in the trees, and pairs of
small eyes peering from behind distant trunks could be seen. The
forest was something quite different from the stench of the city
and the constant pressure and violence there. No curfew existed
in the forest and life still more or less abided the laws of
nature in it. Serenity breathed from every leaf, every branch,
The longer they progressed, the louder a sound became; the
roaring of a waterfall. But nobody spoke. Nobody asked.
"Here it is," the man in black said while raising his hand as
they reached a small clearing; they had now walked for more than
two hours over the tiniest and most secretive paths of the
forest, and the men carrying the stretcher were already showing
signs of fatigue. They now saw that the clearing was actually on
the edge of a shallow lake, into which a cataract poured down its
The two old men looked at each other and nodded. Their eyes
gleamed softly, as if they knew something great was about to
happen; as if they were to meet someone long ago lost out of
"Yeah, this is it," they both agreed.
The man in black went ahead, and was soon not visible any more
through the thick of the night. After a couple of minutes'
silence, they heard a soft sound coming from the thicket.
"The signal," the old man with the spectacles said while raising
They all went in single file, and disappeared behind the
waterfall, which appeared silver in the light of the pale moon.
There was a rather long gallery they had to walk through. At
about every twenty yards there was a large torch that lit the
walls and the ceiling with shadows of playing flames.
They walked silently towards the brighter light at the end of
the gallery, from which soft sounds of chanting arose.
The tunnel opened in a large hall like an enormous arbour, in
the middle of which there was an intricate machine. Tiny puffs of
smoke arose from it, and they looked at the bent old men that
kept the fire under a large kettle burning softly.
They filled their lungs with the magic air, closed their eyes
and sighed deeply. No doubt: This was the unmistakable scent of
oranges and chocolate so familiar to all of them; the fragrance
of Cointreau and the other ingredients of the Divine Dessert.
"Welcome!" a voice that could be heard to once have sounded like
the clearest water sparkling forth from a mountain's well said
gently behind them.
They all looked around and saw a small woman standing behind
them, leaning on a carved wooden stick, accompanied by another
woman with a breathtaking hairstyle. They were followed at a
close distance by the man in black, who held a bowl in his hands.
The two old men in the company swallowed something; their eyes
moistened slightly. She wore a purple dress, partly covered by
her brown hair that curled slightly at the tips; in her eyes they
saw an undefinable tinsel, a glittering that could easily be
mistaken for simple joy but that was in fact a mixture of all the
emotions ever cast upon her during her long life.
It also reflected sadness when she laid eyes upon the girl on
the stretcher, blood stained on her dress. She slowly walked
towards her and summoned the two men carrying the stretcher to
put it on the ground, gently.
The Creatress knelt down next to the stretcher and touched
Samantha's hand. At that moment, the girl came to from what had
seemed like a deep sleep.
"The Cointreau..." she sighed, "I have failed...This birthday
didn't bring any Divine Dessert...it's my fault...I have failed!"
The girl closed her eyes again.
The Creatress smiled her smile of smiles and held Samantha's
hand more tightly. "You could do nothing about it, Sam," she
whispered softly, "nothing. Nothing..." Her voice seemed to loose
power and fade away.
She held up her hand, in which the man in black put a small
spoon. On the spoon was some brown substance that they all knew
only too well. The Creatress lifted Samantha's head slightly, and
with her other hand she held the spoon before the girl's mouth.
"Here," she said with a voice that suddenly sounded young and
fresh again, "take this, Sam." With that, she put the spoonful of
the Divine Dessert in the girl's mouth.
"This was specially prepared for you," the Creatress said, "and
it also includes a secret ingredient that I have saved for
special occasions. Eat it. It will strengthen you."
Everybody was silent, even the old men that had been swallowing
tears of emotion for the last couple of minutes. Nobody dared
even to breathe.
It seemed like ages passed. Still, nobody seemed even to breathe
and nobody uttered even the tiniest of sounds.
Then, Samantha opened her eyes.
"More..." the girl whispered weakly into the Creatress' ear,
"...can I please have some more?...."
The man in black filled the spoon once again and handed it back
to the old woman in the remarkable purple dress. Again, she gave
the bit of Divine Dessert to the girl on the stretcher.
Was it everybody's imagination, or did Samantha seem to revive?
Many legends of old had been told about supposed healing powers
of the Divine Dessert, but nobody had really believed them -
well, except maybe for the two old men. These sat now crying
their eyes out, overwhelmed by sudden emotions of Samantha's
miraculous healing mixed with fondest memories of those great
nights out with the Creatress and the other woman, Miranda. It
had been a long time since they had seen them, and they simply
couldn't handle all this joy at once.
As Samantha regained colour on her face that had been deadly
pale but minutes ago, and as she sat upright on the stretcher,
the spoon went round the company, and each of the members got a
treat to the Divine Dessert.
The man in black came forward and started to sing. The others,
including Samantha sung with him:
Again, we defied sadness of heart
Life was brought to a new start
We will lenghten freedom's ring
For again we learned a thing
Our fight is one we cannot loose
Forever and ever: Chocolate Mousse!!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.