Ready for the special room

 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 18, 17 11:46 PM

"So... I've been thinking about 'Plan B'." I muse aloud.

"Does it involve explosions?" Grim frowns.

"Sadly, no."

"Alright, let's hear it." Grim folds up the 'cunning' floor plan and passes around kibble, carrots and salmon for everyone's lunch.

"Well. this is a 'staff' gymnasium..."

"Correct"

"Tarquin is at a job interview for the local paper, plus he works as a guard..."

"Or he's reporting everything that happened to him to MC officials, who will immediately retaliate with more wanted posters and arrest warrants..."

"Agree... either way he's a loose end with a fancy watch we could use to rescue PTG."

"Only if we can catch him."

"Well, he strikes me as one of those insufferable healthy types, always banging on about 'runner's high' and gluten and how quinoa and goji berries changed their life."

"A git?"

"Precisely." I nod. "Meaning he'll be here sooner or later."

"And then what?"

"Well, there's a saying that applies here - as we are trying to rescue a friend. The saying goes;

A friend will pick you up from the airport
A good friend will help you move house.
But a great friend will help you dispose of a body.
"

I watch Grim as she is lost in thought, sifting through and categorizing all her friends. Then her eyes widen.

"Wait, WHAT?"

I pat her on the paw. "I'm a great friend to have."






 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 19, 17 6:47 PM
"I know a variation of that, too: A good friend will bail you out of jail at 3 am, but a great friend will be sitting beside you saying D*, that was fun!" Jenifer and I grin at each other. "I think we should go for drinks next time we reach a lull in the plot. I can even smuggle in some Bundaberg!"

We sit under the bleachers. Jenifer teases Bell with a bell, while I sort through time threads. Unfortunately it seems to be all or nothing: either the gym is a smoking ruin of rubble, or it was never used to hold the rabbits in the first place. And I really wanted that custom workstation and database!

"Plan B it is," I say at last. "What sport or activity would lure Tarquin here?"

"Certainly not wrestling or boxing! He was a wuss!" Jenifer declares. "Racquetball, maybe? Yeah, racquetball sounds like something someone named Tarquin would play"

"Racquetball it is." I 'borrow' some careless admin assistant's account, find Tarquin's email address, and type up an email:

To: All Staff
From: Castle Health and Wellness Committee
Round one of the Midnight Castle Racquetball March Madness Tournament will begin in 10 minutes. First matches up:
Staff Gymnasium 1: Mackenzie versus Javier
Staff Gymnasium 2: Tarquin versus Maguire
Latecomers will forfeit their chance to advance to the next stage. Go get 'em, boys!

"That's it?" says Jenifer.

"It's all we need. Well, that and two disguises. Tarquin will come. He'll change out of his uniform and into gym clothes. If he doesn’t voluntarily take off the watch, we tell him it's tournament regulations to take off the watch, and we bolt."

"Ooh, what disguises?"

"Gym clothes and a referee's uniform."

"Two House Of Schpadoinkle originals coming up!"

 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 19, 17 10:29 PM
We sneak into the Staff changing room and find Tarquin's locker. I have to jimmy it open. His civilian clothes are already there, but no watch. There is, however, a notepad with some ideas for news stories. He must have got the job.

"He still has the watch." I announce. "So plan A of plan B is a bust. Move on to Plan B of Plan B."

We move to Maguire's locker. It is unlocked.

"Handy!" I open it and pull out his sports wear. "Oh this is just hideous! Plain white! Where are the adornments? The accessories? The accoutrements? The appurtenances?"

"It's a disguise, not an outfit!" Grim points out, rather firmly.

"I know!" I grumble, "But I don't have to like it!"

I change into Maguire's uninspiring ensemble while Grim carefully tucks her ears under a referee's cap and hangs a whistle around her neck.

"Hi Ref!"

We turn sharply to see a jaunty young fellow sipping a pomegranate, kale and chia seed smoothie. I slap him and shove him into Maguire's locker, then lock him in.

"How did you know that was Maguire?" Grim is amazed.

"Who?"

We head out to find Staff Gymnasium 2.

We see Tarquin warming up alone in one of the courts.

"Okay, Grim, he's never seen you. Plan B, of Plan B is go!"

Grim opens the door and officially walks into the court in a very official way. Especially for a bunny.

Tarquin turns. "Hi Ref! Hey! Why are you a large rabbit with an owl on your shoulder?"

I smack myself in the forehead. There is still an ice cream cone there.

When it comes to disguises, we do tend to forget the little things.



Edited on 03/20/2017 at 10:44:34 PM PST


 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 19, 17 10:46 PM
Grim ignores his query, and carries on in a very official way.

"I'm sorry sir, Health and Safety regulations prevent you from wearing any jewelry on the court."

"Of course." Tarquin takes out his hipster earlobe hole earrings. You know the ones - the see-through black rings that get bigger and bigger and bigger until finally the sight of them makes you vomit. But it is, of course, very important that a latte swilling, inner city food blogger gets in touch with their tribal African roots. As it is, apparently, with blonde haired, blue eyed Tarquin.

Grim, however, resists the urge to vomit. I am impressed.

"And the watch."

Tarquin laughs. "Is this a test?"

"I beg your pardon?" Grim's voice takes on an uber official tone now.

"Rule Seven. Never let any mystical technology you are in possession, or control, of out of your sight. Rule seven. Nice test! You almost got me!"

Tarquin turns back to his warm up and practices a serve. The sight of his floppy, dangling earlobes is turning Grim green.

"Plan C of plan B!" I barge into the court and catch the ball. "Bouncy!"

"Hey! You're not Maguire! I should have been notified of a change! And she's clearly a woman! Now I must stress here that, as a feminist, I know that all women are capable of doing absolutely anything a man can do-"

"Like a prostate exam?" I frown.

Tarquin is stuck, mid-speech. "Uh... we... would have to agree that any woman has the right to have a-"

I turn to Grim and give her a nod. She understands and blows the whistle.

"-Wait!" Tarquin is flummoxed. "I serve first! Hey! Don't I know you?"

"SERVE!" I throw the ball high into the air and smash Tarquin over the head with the racquet. He falls to the ground unconscious and we steal his watch.

"Is he...?" Grim is wary of what comes next.

"Nah, just knocked out. Plus he just got a new job. We can't kill him, that would just be mean."

We run back to the elevator.

"From now on, we should just go with Plan C from the beginning."


 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 21, 17 7:38 AM

I have no idea how we made our way back to HQ - but here we are. Cash and Wickerbat return to the ball pit. Bell chases a stray ball around the floor. Hoppy rearranges my corset inventory and PTG's owl remains on Grim's shoulder - as that is where the intelligence appears to be.

I watch Grim fiddle and finagle and fangle with the fancy watch.

"I think I've got it!" She announces before disappearing.

"Where is Grim?!" I shout at the disembodied voice of Ian Mckellen.

Grim is no longer in this universe.

"Oh Heavens to Betsy!" I shout, and pick up my standard lamenting lyre.

Oh beloved Grim
Please hear my soulful hymn
We've escaped the gym
And we're both so slim

You're an awesome dame
This mission is your aim
Find 'Playing The Game'
He needs a better name

Something far more thrifty
Would certainly be nifty
The foes we face are shifty
My pretzel is quite twisty (meh)

Our companion is quite trapped
In places yet unmapped
Foes we have kidnapped
And most thoroughly slapped

We've worn awful clothes
And sunk to untold lows
Our love quite clearly shows
My kitten sniffs my toes

But we have not lost hope
No, we will never mope
Though, hugging that great dope
Will likely need some soap.

You're a clever fellow
Do not walk through that jello!
Through multiverse we bellow
I'd love to learn the cello

Grim is on her way!
By fancy watch, not sleigh.
And magical archway
To return you to the fray.

In HQ I will sit,
A cosy I will knit
I hope that it will fit
Wait - who's that? Oh s-

"Hey!"

I drop my lyre and stare at Chris Arwin. "Are you here to kill me?!"

"No, just wondering if you'd like to go out to dinner?"

I giggle and flounce. "Just let me change."






 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 21, 17 12:07 PM
"I have no idea how we made our way back ---"

Jenifer is disingenuous as usual: We get back to HQ via a major scuffling over who gets to play with Tarquin's fancy watch first.

In rapid succession we flash through the CEO's luxurious private office, the smithy, staff gymnasium 2, the Winter Garden, the Antique Shop, staff gymnasium 2, the Summer Garden, Fletcher's home under the moat, Hoppy's Tree Hole, the editorial offices of the Cloud City Times and Tribune, and staff gymnasium 2. As we fall into the Confessional, I finally grab the watch. We choose to walk the rest of the way to HQ.

A couple of apologies are in order:

1) Someone (not us!) has replaced the blacksmith with a statue of the blacksmith. We are sorry we knocked off the statue's head.

2) Also - Fletcher, next time we visit and you are not there, I promise not to bring PTG's owl along.

I charge my phone and laptop, restock my backpack, and fiddle some with the watch, which is not really a watch - more of a Fitbit thing with a Castle app forced onto it.

I zap back and forth between HQ and the Winter Garden as a test. "I think I've got it!" I announce. I enter an ID code for PTG and hit go.

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 21, 17 2:42 PM
I arrive on a beaten dirt track, winding across a scrubby, uneven field. No sign of telemarketers or scammers. No sign of PTG or Randy.

I double check the watch. According to it, PTG should be here.

I can afford to wait, for a bit anyway.

I wait.

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by playingthegame on Mar 22, 17 5:07 AM
As I follow in the footsteps that Cap’n Bob has left behind, I can’t help but notice that the route he has chosen is as straight as an arrow but leads to nowhere in particular. There is just more flat desert with a strong heat haze in the distance.

I recall how confused and upset he was just after Jenny Wren had departed and I sincerely hope that he has not one more been the subject of any untoward psychotropic medicine that would scramble his mind and affect his decision to stay here instead of having (I hope) Grim rescue us, returning us to our own MC realm.

I look to my left and the hills and once more notice the greenery. Green means rain, means water and I have a terrible thirst and an empty cup!

So I am in a bit of a dilemma. I can continue to follow in the Cap’ns footsteps or move towards the higher, greener and certainly cooler ground.
I can also now see the flying objects much more clearly now and they are dragons and they do have riders on them. I remember this also being similar to Cap’n Bob and Frosty (his dragon) and so that way there is civilization of some kind.

This of course is not of my own MC realm but is better than none at all here in the desert. There are not even dust bunnies so I am not even tempted to sweep up anything!

There is no sign of the Cap’n ahead of me and his footsteps are now becoming obscured by the searing winds that sweep across this arid land.

I also reflect on this fact that the Cap’n has called this dimension his “home” and so those riders must know him if he is one of their officers.

I must make my decision quickly: continue to follow his path or change direction and head for the higher ground.

I move towards the hills and “civilization”!

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 22, 17 7:19 AM
I wait for PTG to appear. I check the time on my phone. Two minutes later I check again. For some reason, this world is making me very impatient. Two minutes later I check again. One minute later, for variety, I check Tarquin's watch.

The phone and the watch are off from each other by an hour.

D'oh! Tarquin forgot to "spring ahead" and reset his watch with the time change last week! I am ahead of PTG by an hour. Or maybe I'm behind PTG by an hour? But what if this world doesn't recognize daylight savings? Then I might be two hours off? Or maybe it canceled out and it's the same time in both worlds?

Gahh! It doesn't matter! I reset Tarquin's watch, enter PTG's ID again, and hit go again.

I am still on this dry beaten track, a little closer to the hills in one direction. And lo and behold, here comes PTG from the other!

"Yay! I found you!" I bound over and shake his hand. The owl takes a dignified step from my shoulder to PTG's shoulder.

PTG sighs with relief. "That took longer than I expected."

"Oh, sorry. We had to organize a racquetball tournament. But look! I have Tarquin's fitbit watch thing and I can take us back now. I assume you still want to go back? Jenifer says Randy wants to stay. Does he really? Here, I brought some water and sandwiches. Also carrots. And some Girl Scout cookies. Are you ready? Just let me know when."

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by playingthegame on Mar 22, 17 8:04 AM
A profound sense of relief comes over me when I see a large beautifully groomed rabbit appear and I am even more amazed when I see my owl perched on her shoulder.

Formal greetings are quickly over and I give her a huge hug and we jump around like kids in a sandpit for a while. The owl is a bit nonplussed and hovers over ahead while keeping a sharp look out for any creeping or crawling objects nearby that might be a snack

It goes hungry!

Then a bout of coughing and choking reminds me that I am parched and she has kindly brought food and drink for just an emergency.

We reminisce on the recent turn of events and she wants to know where Cap’n Bob is, so I point into the haze where I last saw him.

Her next question: “Did I want to remain here?” takes me a nanosecond to answer.

I explain to her that this is not my realm and so: “Please let us get back a.s.a.p.”

I have no doubt that there would be adventures galore and a new way of life to replace my role as MC Chief Sweeper Upper if I continued to stay in this dimension having found its civilization.

But Hey! We have the means to return here and so we can perhaps do that as a planned adventure and not with this dire emergency.

So in those immortal words from afar:
Beam me up Scotty!

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 22, 17 9:17 AM
A tap on Tarquin's watch and PTG and I are back in HQ! Whew.

A quick look around shows that we have somehow acquired a sofa in the room. I can tell it is a recent arrival not yet discovered by the ferrets, as they are totally sacked out in a nest of discarded gym clothes. Jenifer doesn't seem to be present. I wonder what mischief she is up to now? (And what she is wearing?)

PTG immediately flops onto the couch, looking more worn out than I have ever seen him. I make him a hot cup of tea, which I hope he will find acceptable as I prefer iced drinks myself, but he is asleep before it finishes steeping.

I set it on a small table near him and sit down to check my monitors.

Temperatures in the various trouble spots are currently holding steady. I'll have to get some sensors into the new areas of levels 75 and 76. I'll also need to map out the best way for my level-39 self to travel there - tunnels or aperture. Maybe PTG can take me along on a jaunt when he wakes up.

In the meantime, though, I start to research the Union of Mystical Objects. Because what is PTG without a broom?

Edited on 03/22/2017 at 12:56:31 PM PST


 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 22, 17 10:18 AM
CLOUD CITY TIMES AND TRIBUNE

BLACKSMITH STATUE BROKEN. The blacksmith in the blacksmith shope in Cloud city is missing. He has been replaced by a statue. And now someone has broken the statue's head off. If you think you know who it is, please call the police.

REMOVAL OF BLACK IVY MAY BE COMPLETE. The black ivy is gone from all public areas because the Rocksville and Clowd City lawn care companies have cleaned it up. We don't know if the black ivy is still inside the private wings of Midnight Castle because the Castle will not tell us.

MARCH MADNESS RACQUETBALL TOURNAMENT. There was a racquetball tournament this week. But a player named Tarquin was assaulted by someone else and the tournament was canceled. Actually the Health and Wellness Comitte says the tournament was a hoax, but I got hurt anyway so how was it a hoax?

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by playingthegame on Mar 23, 17 2:28 AM
OOC A special message to our recently departed Cap'n Randy
Get well soon and may all our good wishes fly your way

 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by playingthegame on Mar 23, 17 3:21 PM
I sit down on a rather sumptuous sofa that has been left in the room by some philanthropist.

I seem to recall that the Guest Room in the Tower has a comfortable chair that matches it in style, so no doubt it is on the MC Inventory somewhere.

As I lay there I am just ferreting around each of the HOS sites in my mind when I appear to be in two places at the same time.

One of me is asleep on the sofa with my partner Grim sitting nearby doing things on technical stuff that only she understands.

The second me is flitting like a wraith from room to room and floor to floor in the Castle and seems to be looking out for something that I don’t want to find; in fact the mere thought of finding it is making me quake in my boots.

I eventually reach a large closed door which boldly states in illuminated characters: NO ADMITTANCE - RADIATION HAZARD.

“Curiosity killed the cat!” my teacher once told me when I caught him with a mountain of shards that he said was “for a rainy day when the new room had been decorated”

I remind myself that as Chief Sweeper Upper of the Castle I must have access to all those areas that our paying guests may want to visit and to make sure that they were clean and tidy and well stocked for the HOS that they will find in them.

So thus emboldened, I slip through the door into the room.

But, it is not just a room any longer but a shimmering whirlpool that flares up in front of me.

It can only be one thing – a portal with another part of the Castle hidden behind it.

Well after my recent experience of just having been extricated from another dimension, I don’t feel inclined to pursue the ghostly wandering any further. But I do make a mental note of the location of the door I have just slipped past.

I can explore this further when I am with my partners, as I am sure we may find some answers as to what is now happening in the far reaches of the Castle.

 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 24, 17 6:29 AM

The rubies and sapphires encased in my feather adorned tiara bounce off the firelight of the one place I've always wanted to dine.

I slice a decent slab off the yet unnamed animal turning on the spit. I add to the plate some bread and butter, onion and carrot slices and add a dash of salt. I hand the first plate to the raccoon. He's been waiting SO long!

Chris lazes back and serenades me with his lute.

I search for a pickle.

Then it hits me. "Hey a pickle!"

Then I think. Wait, what if he wants this date to go further? I've been single so long I can't even remember who gets tied up!

I look for the cameras. Is Grim watching? Will she be commenting on my lack of abilities when it comes to the awkward first kiss?

I can imagine the calls from the peanut gallery now: "No! That's not right! NO! Use your lips! Put away the dynamite!!! Oh, now you're just facing the wrong way!"

I have no means of contacting her for any feminine advice.

Then I remember the amulet!

Hoppy finds it easily in my newly efficient purple cloak sewn corset. I rub the small medallion earnestly while calling "Randy? Come in, ya insufferable lunatic!"

Nothing happens. But Chris is slightly perturbed.

I look more closely at my amulet. It is, in fact, a medal. The inscription reads:

Little Tots Tap Dancing Tournament
3rd place
Randy

"Oh…" I smile sweetly. There's more to that galumphing halfwit than meets the eye.

I scratch off the last bit of dirt over the date.

"Wait… 2013?!!!!"

I'm hit with another pickle.

The racoon wants seconds.


 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by playingthegame on Mar 24, 17 1:48 PM
I wake from my snooze refreshed with mind buzzing

I notice a cup of tea on a nearby table and gulp it down, mentioning to Grim how thirsty I seem to be.

[What I actually said, recalling some of Jenny Wren's vernacular is: " I am as dry as a kangaroo's jockstrap!" which I never knew that they wore].

She replies: "that it is because I was snoring rather loudly and so she had to use her noise cancelling headphones".

I had noticed a rather large and ungainly machine on top of her head but of course I am too polite to mention anything.

I sit up and begin to relate my strange experiences of a split mind out of body experience.
When I get to the special door, she frowns and turns back to her pretty screens. She twiddles a few knobs and lo and behold – there is the same room that I had dreamt!

She casually asks: “Were my feet wet when I stood in front of it?”

Totally mystified I reply: “Well I did feel a little dampness creeping up my ghostly shroud”.

She smiles and tells me: "I was in my vision at the gates of Atlantis having climbed out of the adjacent Harbor!"

“But why did I get this sense of foreboding and refuse to go any further?”

“Ah! That is because there is a portal in the entrance that transports you to yet another part of the Castle”

This is all completely unknown to me but obviously there have been further developments to the Castle Campus since my recent demise.

She points to one of pretty screens and there is a whirlpool in the middle of the picture.

What astounds me is the fact that humanoid shapes appear to enter and then return back to this side of it.

“Those”, she explains while pointing, “are paid up members of the MC community and there are new scenes, HOS and ZZ just revealed. behind that portal”

I think, “Some new HOS?” That means new piles of discard HOS to be returned to the main Castle Discarded HOS Repository.

THAT is my domain and that is where I will investigate further.

All I need is a new broom (whether magical or not) for sweeping them up and I am certain that I can find a discarded one from the Gnome Kitchen.

I am determined to understand why I was so concerned(?)/upset(?)/scared(?) when my wraith was hovering in front of that door.

Edited on 03/24/2017 at 2:50:31 PM PST


 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 25, 17 1:19 AM

Grim pulls up the Gnome Kitchen on the monitors an immediately starts yelling.

"NO! Use your lips! Put the dynamite DOWN! Oh, now she's just facing the wrong way! No, don't kiss the raccoon!!!"

It's an emergency on several levels now. 39, 56, 76 and 8.

"Eight?!" PTG cries "How did you get back to eight?"

"Well everyone I know is on PC, so I was pressured into joining them."

"That's not very PC." PTG frowns.

"No, it's Personal-"

"Well then, don't mind me!" PTG interjects. "But you really should ask for some friends other that us - we tend to get captured, sidetracked and hospitalised a fair bit."

"Good point." Grim stands up. "Now we have a date to crash."

"Such a shame - she so rarely gets out these days!"

"Unless she's blowing stuff up." Grim notes.

"That reminds me, did she leave any dynamite around?"

"Why?!"

"They might be singing."


 
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Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Grimwald on Mar 25, 17 4:58 AM
"But why do we have to crash her date?" PTG asks. "Even if they are singing, we're not there."

I stuff handfuls of stuff into my backpack, not paying attention to what I grab. "Okay, we're not crashing the date. It's a rescue mission!"

PTG massages his temples. "Why does she need to be rescued? She already beat him once."

"It's not Jenifer, it's Chris I'm worried about!" I look at the sleeping ferrets and decide to let them lie. I do tuck their cell phone in with them, just in case.

"Ready?" I stop to think. "Tunnel to the Dream Palace, but then we have to backtrack to the Craftsman District…. Nearest known aperture opens up behind the Sphinx…."

"If only my broom or my bench were here!" laments PTG.

"Yeah, I need to talk to you about that, so hold that thought. Custom's Office… Potion Shop…. Wait, I have an open quest with the detective!" I grab PTG's hand and we jump to the dingy back alleys of the Craftsman District and pelt toward the Gnome Kitchen, where I bounce off the still-locked HOS and land unceremoniously on my rump.

"Allow me," says PTG. He helps me up and I follow him into the HOS.

 

Re:Ready for the special room

[Post New]by Jenifer_Rule on Mar 25, 17 5:45 AM

I laze back in the firelight while Chris serenades me further...

Oh beloved Jeni
I know how it is spelt
Your designs are many
I'd love something svelte

That tucks in at the waist
Something with pizzazz!
But definitely taste!
Like Cameron Diaz!

I'm a normal bloke
But I'd love it if you tried
Bedazzling my cloak
With a trimmed inside?

I've jotted down some sketches
If I may be so bold
I hope that's not dry retches
That make your eyes so cold

You see, I love your passion!
You want to make things right!
And your sense of fashion
Is MORE than dynamite!

Grim and PTG burst into the gnome kitchen.

"Oh thank God!"

"We are SOOO sorry for interrupting your date!" PTG laments, while stealthily stealing a broom.

I stand up and pat a full and content Randy the Raccoon on the head.

"Forget about it - not the first time I've accidentally dated a gay guy."

"Wait, what?!"

"I'll design you a new outfit as soon as I get access to the mythological Fabric Counter!" I declare.

The truth is I can see the level 57 access lock dancing, teasingly, in front of me everywhere I go. It's the only thing that blocks out helping, and then witnessing, my old friend Jeronimo behead the broken Automaton. As far as I can remember, he was just a victim of the black weed curse like everyone else!

And I can't wait to get in to Kaley's and expand the House of Schpadoinkle! This could send us global!

"Seriously - I'm up for anything right now." I nod to Grim and PTG.

Chris perks up. "Have you considered pastels?"

I'm dragged out of the Gnome Kitchen before I can blow it up.





 
 
 
 
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