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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon Greta seems to have two usual expressions: murderous intent and suspicious distrust. Call it a character flaw.

The "Sabella" mentioned by Rocco is the Cafe Sabella, where the Astarte City Mob meets to discuss its nefarious crimes.

I was overwhelmed by the response to my request for information on where folks read MoS. I've received over 75 replies, and there are a couple more in my email waiting to be read. So far we have readers from every continent except for South America and Antarctica. If you're reading from either of these two fine continents, please drop us a line so we have a clean sweep and can claim readers from literally all over the world.

And if you're from Antarctica...well, on the Internet no one can tell if you're a penguin.

(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs As the story will continue to switch back and forth between the "present day" and Benjamin's past for a little while, I've decided as an experiment to just start explicitly labeling it when that happens. I suspect it was going to get confusing otherwise. If this works out I'll probably go back and add appropriate labels to the previous pages in the story as well.

Consider this question: One can usually expect a restaurant with fine aged mahogany fittings and a nice hardwood floor to be a fairly expensive place. How expensive would such a restaurant be on Venus, a place which hasn't had a breathable atmosphere or even a coastline which is guaranteed to be above water for more than a few decades? Not a lot of old-growth forest to be found out there on Aphrodite Terra, that's for sure.

Users of the Safari and Opera browsers have reported in that MoS looks fine under those browsers, so I think we're in pretty good shape now. If you do encounter any HTML glitches under the new templates, don't hesitate to let us know.

Finally, our widespread readership constantly fascinates me. Now, being as old and creaky as I am -- once, when I was a very small boy, I saw a Fotomat with my own eyes! -- I remember that it used to be kind of unusual to communicate with people in other countries, never mind casually publish something so that everyone in the world could read it. Now, of course, we take it for granted. There's a guy from Russia I've been meaning to write back to for several weeks, fer cryin' out loud. Russia. Hmm, I really should write back to that guy soon.

So what I'm leading up to here in my usual roundabout fashion is this: I was particularily amazed when we heard from a MoS reader posted with the U. S. Marines at Camp Al Taqaddum in Iraq, not particularily far away from Fallujah. Dang. Good luck out there, sir.