Monday, April 18, 2011
Time Lord's House
I spent yesterday recovering, and today I've been doing research. The day before I was at Time Lord's house. That went badly. I've been told that while you can conceptually remember "pain" being greater or for worse, you can't actually remember the pain itself in a fashion that would allow your brain to say "This pain is Worse/Better". I say that's bullshit. This hurts worse than anything I've felt in a long time.
Went to Time Lord's house two days ago. I had my trusty box of Maxalt this time around, so my migraine was reduced significantly. It wasn't gone, mind you, but I was going to take what I could get. His door was closed and locked, the upstairs window I leaped out of with Weaver was closed, someone had definitely been here. My memories were (and still are) all kinds of sketchy. I don't actually remember going through his door before I was running up the stairs and into the hallway. My astral senses were picking up all kinds of weirdness. I couldn't define it as anything else. Just weirdness, the inexplicable feeling that something was horribly wrong. I hadn't even done anything yet and I felt like maybe it was time to turn tail and run.
Time Lord didn't own this house. He was renting it along with somebody else. He never really gave me the details, but I really wish I knew who the other renter was right about now. The first thing I did was knock on the door. No answer. I didn't expect an answer, but it's always the first thing you try. Then I walked about ten feet around the house, and opened a side window. I didn't actually expect the window to be unlocked, so then I walked back to my car and opened the trunk. I unloaded Surprise 1 (Forgemaster's Contribution, with assistance from Green Man.) Then I unloaded Surprise 2. (Green Man's contribution, with assistance from Forgemaster.) Then I unloaded the 100 feet of climbing rope.
I walked back to the window, tied an old-fashioned Boy Scout knot around my waist, then tied the other end around the base of a nearby bush. Not the best anchor in the world, but while I don't know the name of these bushes, I can tell you that their terror is legendary. I had to pull these bastards up when I did landscaping, and they can take a phenomenal amount of punishment. Three long hours with a shovel and no paycheck teaches you the strength and implacable nature of these mounds of leafy frustration. The house was weird. If it started moving around on me, I wanted to be able to get back to where I'd started as fast as possible. This was why I was setting myself up with a nice safety line. After setting it up, I hopped through the window.
Right after I set my feet on the ground I collapsed on the floor clutching my skull as my migraine went straight to World Collapse. Time Lord's house had gone from being just a thin place in the veil to being a goddamn hole under my feet. Somebody had done a magnificent job of hiding said hole. I'd have never seen it if I hadn't dived into the damn house. The biggest problem with having senses as developed as mine is that detecting things on the astral plane when things are really bad can HURT. After another minute or so of laying on the ground, my head got used to the change in circumstances. It had gone from a rapid endless pounding to a dull throbbing. The world was back in focus.
I forced myself upright, and began stumbling across the hall. I needed an icepack for my head. Rounding the corner from the window I entered the place in, I found myself in a kitchen. I cranked the cold water in the sink up to the max and plunged my head under it. Pain was replaced with Clarity, and I stood up to face the world.
I checked the rope around my waist. one hundred feet of rope would have to do. It looked like despite having a tear in the veil, this house wasn't going to move around on me. That was extremely unusual. Although, I did not even notice the hole in the veil until I actually walked into the damn house, which was more unusual. Then I checked in the freezer.
There was an Ice pack. On top of it were a stack of sticky notes. The sticky note on top said, "You know the drill."
I glared at the stack, and said, "You are such an asshole."
I tore off the top note, and the one underneath said, "I left you an ice pack for your head, didn't I?"
I grimaced, said "Touche," and pressed the ice pack against my forehead.
Ice pack, oh heavenly ice pack, how you make life better. I started taking stock of the house. It was a small, two story affair. Traditional bachelor pad, when you got down to it. Two bedrooms upstairs, two showers, the first floor had a living room, a kitchen, and a sitting room. I spotted a flier on the table. It looked like it was for some kind of dance club. Time Lord was no dancer. When I picked it up to get a better look, I noticed a sticky note underneath it.
It read, "Go here on Tuesday, April 19th. Do not ask Ice Pack Stickies about this."
I was getting really annoyed with these time-mucking shenanigans. It was Time Lord's handwriting. But considering I didn't know his position in this little shindig, following his directions might not be the best idea. I pocketed the flier, deciding to save that decision for later.
Finally, I glared at the sticky notes on the ice pack, and said, "Okay. There's a hole in the veil here. This place should be a non-euclidean hive of scum and villainy. Why is everything so normal?"
I tore off the top sticky, and the new one read, "My defenses were designed to collapse in, and protect outsiders from a break (pull sticky)."
I frowned. Pull sticky? Oh! Pull sticky! I pulled up the sticky note, revealing the rest of the message:
"(cont.) In the veil. The shitstorm should be in the basement."
I said, "Convenient. Mind explaining what all this is about?"
I pulled up the sticky, the new one said, "Shouldn't you be worrying about the hole on the veil under your feet?"
I glared at the stickies. There were two left. For better or for worse, I had to make them count. I sat down on the kitchen counter, and began projecting. It was like he said: after I had rescued Weaver from Time Lord's house, the castle had crumbled inward, temporarily sealing the hole in the veil from the rest of the world. The key word was temporary. I was basically standing on top of a nuclear bomb. If this hole expanded outward, we'd be in some serious trouble.
Okay. Forgive me, I'm rushing ahead. For all those not in the know, the veil is not something that tears in perfect holes. When it does, it seals itself back up pretty quickly. It's like a living thing, and it heals fast. What has everyone worried these days is that it's healing more slowly, and it feels like it's getting weaker every day. Now, this hole wasn't new. It wasn't closing. It was barely being held in check by Time Lord's preparations. THAT kind of hole never opens unless you're looking at a good old fashioned kind of apocalyptic scenario. Or if you've got something running around trying to force it open.
I said, "Where are Weaver, Spinner, and Cutter."
The next sticky said, "They should be safe for now."
I spotted the basement door. I touched the doorknob experimentally. It didn't sense anything waiting to kill me behind that door.
I removed the sticky, showing the final message: "The good news: Your eyes won't be permanently damaged."
Now I was nervous, and I had the basement from hell to investigate. I wasn't taking any chances, I pulled Surprise 1 from my waist and got it ready to open the door and pitch it through. Then the basement door shot open, slamming me against the wall. I should have realized that just because I didn't sense any monsters behind the door to kill me didn't mean that there weren't humans willing to do it instead. Surprise 1 dropped out of my hand, and landed right between me and my assailant. The back of my head hit the wall, and I wasn't feeling so good. This was going to suck. Forgemaster had worked his way through the Anarchist's Cookbook a long, long time ago, and knew a thing or two about Home-Made explosives...and Green Man had a short-lived career robbing drug dealers with Tear Gas. (Long story, he'll probably kill me when he finds out I mentioned that). When you get down to it, it's really not hard to make home-made teargas. I'm currently equipped with lovely tear gas grenades. So when I was pulled out from behind the door, barely blocking a fist aimed at my throat, I had just enough time to register the smoke filling the air around us before we were blinded. Having never been afflicted by tear gas before now, I have to tell you that it sucks pretty hard. My attacker could have been anybody. He was some damn kid in a red mask. I couldn't even give you details. So we were stumbling and coughing and wheezing, and I blindly lashed out and caught what I think was his temple. I know I heard a grunt and the sound of somebody being knocked over. I managed to feel out the sink. I splashed my head under cold water, and tried to get it in my eyes as best I could. Then I felt someone grabbing me by my knees. How the hell did he know where I'd gone? Now that I think about it, the running water might have been a dead giveaway. So the next thing I know, I'm rolling around on the ground with somebody, and I manage to give the guy a solid elbow to the face, knocking him off me. I lashed out with my boot a few times, and I'm pretty sure I hit something important. Suddenly, the safety line I didn't think I'd need became a lifesaver. I pulled the damn 100 feet of climbing rope taut, and started reeling myself out. I crawled on my back to the sitting room, and heard the other guy coughing from tear gas exposure in the Kitchen.
No idea what happened to him. He was stuck in the kitchen with a Tear Gas grenade still going off. HIS recovery would be a lot worse then mine, especially since I'd gotten some water in my eyes right after exposure.
I heard a voice from the kitchen shout, "Ah'll fuggin kuw yoo!"
I stayed quiet. Partly because I didn't think I'd sound much better in my own tear gassed state. Partly because I didn't want to give away my position and partly because my lungs were on fire. Add it all together, and there was a long moment where I started reeling myself back to the window, knocking everything down on the way. I managed to undo the lock and stumble into the fresh air. Then I collapsed for god only knows how long. After a little while, I could see enough to crawl to my car. I sat against it for the better part of another hour I think, before I decided it was time to get the hell out. I squinted the whole way back to my hotel. Red Mask had given me a decent beating, and the tear gas was all kinds of fun to experience. Squinting aside, I started seeing what looked like fine, upstanding gentlemen in crummy looking masks. I think it's safe to say that I've got a proxy problem in Buffalo. The guy in the red mask that I fought could have been a proxy, but what's their connection to all this? DID I actually see SlenderDouche in Buffalo a few days ago?
Indonesian Mantis Entities, Time Lord vanished, his students on the run, me with a faulty memory and no clue where anyone was.What a way to spend a Thursday. Good News: I still have a few more of those home made Tear Gas grenades, nobody is aware of Surprise 2 yet, and I personally prepped Surprise 3 this afternoon. I'm ready for anything.
In any case, I'm going to trust the stickies for now. Weaver and the kids are probably safe. At the same time though, I'm not going back to Time Lord's house without a plan and some backup if I can. I've "tagged" the location on the astral plane. If it gets unstable, I'll know. Right now, I'm trying to track down Weaver, Spinner, and Cutter's cell numbers using my vast supply of contacts. (AKA: Time Lord's allies in Albany.) Sent a few stories out for the good old Freelance Writer career. Yeah. My job is definitely suffering from all of this. My finances can't take this adventuring lifestyle I seem to have developed.
I promised the Rogue Nemesis story today, didn't I? I'll write that tomorrow. I'm recovered enough, and assuming I don't get in contact with one of Time Lord's allies in Albany I should have time. Between the tear gas, the migraines, and the beatings, I may have to retire out of self-preservation some time soon.
I don't know if I'll be following the directions on that sticky to go to that club yet. What do you guys think? It it time for me to go dancing?