Posts created by Grimwald

 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 25, 17 6:20 AM
I am lying on the floor. It's hard and cold and I am still in the tunnel. But I have dreamed a solution! Snow globes! I can call someone! I scramble through my pockets, through my MC inventory, through the apps on my phone. I search the tunnel, even examining the light bulbs in case one is a snow globe in disguise. There are no globes to be found.

Frustration! I'm almost there, I know it, nothing to do with snow globes…. And I have it.

I stand.

It is time.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 25, 17 6:17 AM
* Cash and I are walking, looking for something, probably a sock. It's not always the same, says Cash. What? I ask. I look to the left. There is a sock on the ground. Found it, I say. I pick up the sock. Maybe, says Cash, but only if Wickerbat stole it this morning. Huh? Well, if he stole it last night, it's going to be in the kitchen. I look right to the kitchen, and there is the sock, waiting on the counter. And if he stole it while we were sleeping, he probably still has it. Wickerbat is standing in front of us. No, I don't, he says, hiding something behind his back. It’s definitely the same sock but now there are three of them.

* I don't understand, I say, is the local universum torn here, too? It's not the universum, says Cash, but you're running out of time. Better take this call, Wickerbat adds, rolling a snow globe from under a leather covered sofa. I know that sofa. I had to throw it away long before Cash and Wickerbat came to live with me.

* I pick up the snow globe. It's a top-of-the-line 2017 model, the kind Jenifer and the others have recently been using for communication. Feeling silly, I shake the globe and say, "Um, hello?" Plastic snowflakes drift around the dapper rooster inside.

* "Hello, who is that?" says the rooster.

* "My name is Grim- uh, not important."

* "NOT IMPORTANT?! Do you have any idea how many ….." The snow globe does a little blizzard, then the rooster crackles on. "Grim? Where are you?"

* My hands are shaking, which interferes with the reception. "I don’t know! It's all unraveling! I'm trapped in the tunnels, I can't find a way out."

* "Oh, no problem, it's left, right, left, straight, straight, two rights, left, straight, straight, left, straight and right." The rooster tips its hat. "We're waiting in the Ancient Park."The snow settles and won't swirl again no matter how hard I shake the globe.

* My turn, says Wickerbat, and he rolls the globe under the couch again. Give it back, I say. I lie down on the floor and reach for the globe. Wickerbat nips my hand.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 24, 17 12:45 PM
Still sitting in this tunnel, la la la.

I try the ferrets again but no answer. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the MC world who has smuggled in a phone, but I don't have any other contacts. And that's the problem with lurking about for two years. No one even knows I exist, so no one even knows I'm missing.

Randy, unhinged as he is, only saw me fleetingly through the torn aperture. Jenifer went chasing after a ferret but not necessarily the ferret's owner. And I don't think either Jenifer or PTG heard my warning about the ice cream. So, no: no one knows I'm missing.

I'm feeling sorry for myself.

I rummage around my inventory. Let's see if the Wise Saying has anything useful:

"You will have good luck and overcome many hardships."

Oh good grief.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 24, 17 9:37 AM
Still in this tunnel. I've been end to end several times now and can find no physical exits and no anomalies in the local universum. I sit and consider things.

I have my phone, which holds my entire MC inventory, although without access to the laboratory it is of limited use. I've tried calling and texting the ferrets, but they aren't answering. I hope they didn't get eaten by the Griffin, if they were silly enough to try to play cards with it. The laptop got confiscated before I ever made it to customs.

It has to be a tear in the universum.

I really miss all my field equipment. I should add a tab to my MC inventory so I carry it on me at all times. I doze a little, daydreaming about flat databases and relational databases. If it's all properly relational, adding tables to hold my field equipment is all backend work. To pass the time, I map out things on the wall of the tunnel, using a charcoal chest from my inventory.

I know Griffins are intelligent, but they've never struck me as card players. So who were the ferrets playing cards with? And what will they - the ferrets, I mean - do when I don't come back in time for dinner?
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 24, 17 5:41 AM
In the workshop I give the password to the jeweler's assistant. In the back room is a door labeled "in case of elevators do not use fire." (You didn't think I would really say the password out loud where anyone could hear it - did you?) I've reached the compromised Cloud City tunnel.

My phone buzzes with a text message. Cash the ferret wants to know the turn rotation if three people are playing double solitaire. I shove the phone away.

I traverse the tunnel, looking for any tears in the local universum, or signs of actual physical construction of lairs (secret, evil or otherwise). Nothing, just a tunnel with nice stonework, lit by the occasional light bulb. Except by now I should have reached the intersection for the passage to the Dream Palace, and it isn't here.

I pull out the phone to access its location finder. Wait, what was Cash doing in the Griffin Stall? For that matter, where am I? The coordinates don't match up to any MC location I recognize - totally off the grid. Immediately I backtrack to the jeweler's workshop, and that entrance is missing as well. Just smooth stonework, as far as I can see. Which isn't very far as the tunnel now ends abruptly.

I'm lost in an uncharted tunnel, and I may not even be in the MC world anymore.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 23, 17 7:59 PM
"Name?"

"Grimwald."

"Occupation?"

"Reality manipu… er, I mean Castle inmate."

The gnome squints at me.

"Point of entry?"

My cell phone buzzes, distracting me so that I answer "Griffin Stall." It's the ferrets calling, but I can't tell if they have an actual problem, or if they're just too excited playing double solitaire again.

The gnome gives me another hard stare. "The Griffin Stall is not a recognized point of entry to Cloud City."

"I'm sorry, I really have to take this call." I twist away, trying to hide the phone. On the other end, Wickerbat tells me that the gremlins have dismantled and relocated the equalizer, but now some parts are missing, and do I know where the extra banana peels are?

"Ma'am, what is that device? You cannot bring foreign objects inside Cloud City limits."

"Foreign objects," I groan, handing over the phone, "you make it sound like I've eaten something unfortunate." Which may be exactly the case with PTG and Jenny. Even though I've never met them face to face, I've been following their antics for a while, and I definitely feel responsible for the ice cream incident.

The gnome studies the phone to no avail. "It's a brick," I tell him helpfully. "I talk to it, it talks back." He glares up at me, certain I am mocking him. "I told you, I'm a Castle inmate." I slip the phone back into a pocket.

The gnome reluctantly stamps my visa, and I promptly head for the commercial district. I hope jeweler hasn't changed his password since I last came this way.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 23, 17 1:07 PM
It’s audio only again for now. I hear them arrive back in the confessional. "Hey, ice cream. With sprinkles!" Jenifer says. I give Cash a look. PTG adds "Rocky Road, my favorite."

Wait, wait! But we had pistachio, not Rocky Road! I grab a different laptop, scrambling to find the right settings for the right room in the right time line. I manage to establish a two-way audio with the Chapel, but by this time Jenifer is on her third, or maybe fourth, helping.

I yell over the makeshift connection, "Don't eat that ice cream!"

I am definitely too late. I hear Jenifer once again progressing down the tunnel, which no longer leads where it is supposed to lead. If only I had time to set up my full range of equipment! And where did the mysterious Rocky Road ice cream come from? Not from my private supply, I know that much.

I tell the ferrets to set up as much equipment as possible in the Winter Garden, and I'll be back before dinner.

I hop down from the Stone Gargoyle, pause to fill up the Wheel of Fortune in advance of GMT midnight, and open the maintenance hatch in the base of the Fire Fountain. This is the second quickest alternate route to Cloud City from here. With luck -- that is, if I don't get held up in Cloud City customs --I might be able to take the tunnel in reverse and find that evil lair from the rear. Jenifer will get there first. I can only hope I'm still in time to help.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 23, 17 5:06 AM
I set up one of the field monitors behind the Stone Gargoyle. Cash and Wicker pull the cables into position, cable pulling being one time-honored ferret profession. Switch on, and we all three peer at the monitor and its confusing display. I can see Jenifer and PTG from behind as they themselves stare at a bank of equipment that makes me envious. Partly obscured by Jenifer's headgear is a figure. In sudden anxiety, I wave my hands, just be sure that I am not somehow looking at my own self on screen. To my relief, the figure does not wave also. The ears are different, too. So it's not me. Although with all the tears happening in the local universum, it could be hard to tell.

This person taps away on at least five keyboards. At most, I only ever have three. Jealous, much?

With a final bang on a keyboard, this person then shoves his chair away from his displays and turns around to face Jenifer and PTG. I can't see Randy in my visual. Don't hear him either.

Then Cash confesses that he had to leave the ice cream and sprinkles back at the hole into the Chapel confessional.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 23, 17 4:30 AM
The active ear-drops indicate that someone, maybe more than one, is progressing along the tunnel toward Cloud City. There is also some squeaking; I'm not sure what that is. Anyway, if they go right they'll end up behind the jeweler's workshop, left will lead to the Dream Palace. I won't have any visuals until all the equipment is set up again. We had to leave one of the equalizers in a tight bend on the way to the Ice Rock. I'll borrow the gremlins later to dismantle it; they like that kind of work. I tell the ferrets to take a break in the Winter Garden.

For now I pass through a series of Spring Rooms and Christmas rooms (after all, what are friends for?) taking temperatures. The Christmas rooms just are not cold enough for our purposes.

I catch a mutter about throwing ferrets. I wonder if I ought to warn the lady that Wicker, if she ever encounters him, is a biter. Lost his first home over it, in fact.

What upsets me more, though, is that Randy has been distracted from his recounting of Castle history. I really need to understand their take on things and quickly. The numbers and data just don't add up!
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 22, 17 4:03 PM
Things all over are getting worse, though. I'm sure that hole opened into the Confessional in the Chapel. As long as PTG and company don't realize that this side originated in the Castle….

I tug torn shreds of universum across the aperture and say good-bye to the room that has been home for the past two years. The ferrets tug the last monitor into the tunnel, and I close this aperture behind us. No one, not even me, will be coming through here again. But I have to hurry. I have things to do before GMT midnight.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 22, 17 11:41 AM
Have I been spotted? I grab sheets from my bed to hide all the equipment, then hang blankets over the gaping hole in the wall. All my work is about to be undone by some ill-timed explosives. I call the ferrets and we begin moving the equipment and machines. A nearby room is empty, its occupant having recently moved to Cloud City. It's a temporary solution at best; this door only locks from the outside. But some clever trompe l'oeil should buy us enough time, and once we get into the tunnels... well.
 
 
 posted in Midnight Castle on Jan 22, 17 6:59 AM
A big hole has been blown into the wall of my room. In two years of lurking I have never yet been exposed.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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