I have more fond memories of my early time online than I have of my schoollife. Some years ago I was part of a mailing list on the German author Wolfgang Hohlbein. It was grand. We wrote up to 2000 messages a month on all sorts of topics, from books to philosphy and society to roleplaying (discussing and actually doing it). The average age was 16-18, I think - when the people in our surroundings were at the height of their puberty and we complained about the unfairness of life and the stupidity of the world (justly, I believe). The group was a crazy bunch of people from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of opinions, which always spawned discussion. I loved it. I still think fondly of a lot of these people, and they have influenced an important part of my life a lot. Gotika666 stems from some of the popular ideas that were thrown around in this group, albeit that stereotypical twist that I gave her.
Every now and then I remember this time, and I wonder what happened to them. Today the mailing list has more members than ever, but it is dead. The discussions have been reduced to "How did you like this book?", and the Old Ones have left the list. I wonder where they've gone. I probably couldn't take 100 emails per day any more, being busier than I was five years ago, but I do miss their wonderful emails. We're all older now, and we've moved on. I wonder if they're still as crazy, if there could still be discussions like the ones we had if everybody was brought together again. I wonder what Toran, Salid, Aeon, Dago and all the others are busy doing today and why they seem to have disappeared completely off the public side of the internet. Loved reading their short stories, too. I still have a whole folder with printouts of them, somewhere. I once read the beginning of a longer story by Toran, "Khel", and I was sure he'd become a famous author within a few years. God, I'd have loved to read the whole story.