Search for Sherrinford Holmes
Week 5, Negotiating with Paratime
We're on the Silverwood Pantope, which is now named The Fast Times.
Our recent ally, Carson of Paratime, is here with us.
We ask Carson how we can find Holmes. He tells us that the time-traveling Toon incidents we tracked were there to exploit the Toon riots to cover some of Sherrinford's researches.
Ashleigh asks Carson about the fate of the Toons, and Carson tells us that they eventually emigrate to a LaGrange point satellite. We also learn that Toons remain unkillable for another 150 years. Toons are largely psionic creatures and psilencers mess them up. They end up in their Lunar colony, their L-point colony, historical Toontown, and some other alien colonies. Psionic stunners will stun them.
We think of ways to meet with Sherrinford, and Alag comes up with the idea that we slip Holmes a note in Ashleigh's books before she gives them to Holmes. The note itself is a triggered glamour.
Ashleigh writes a note for Alag to deliver which reads:
My Dearest Sherrinford, I need to talk to you, and have taken this rather unfortunate way to send you a note. In case it becomes important to maintain an order to multiple notes this way, this is the first one. It is not essential that you do this immediately. Perhaps it is even best for you to not meet me right away. So at your convenience, or when it seems appropriate, please meet me at the Uffington Horse, at noon on Guy Fawkes Day, 1875. Should we miss that, try the next year, or the one after that, etc. Thank you -- Ashleigh.Alag places the note in Ashleigh's spare set of notebooks in her safe in Oxford. He does this while she and Kate are on their trip to India.
We go to Uffington an hour early, and a mile away. We sleep Carson, take him out, wake him up and walk up to the house. We notice a farmer in the area, and debate whether he is Sherrinford, or whether Sherrinford is disguised as one of the cows.
Noon arrives, and no Sherrinford. We wait for a half-hour and the farmer walks up. Ashleigh gives an `I knew it' smile to him. They banter for a bit before Holmes actually admits that he is himself. Introductions are made, and a bit of talk happens before Carson goes for a walk.
Sherrinford tells us that the worldbenders are not the 4th, nor the gray. They took out the real Nayland Smith. They also put in a couple other duplicates. Great. We decide to tell him all about the people we know of and about the diadem quest.
Sherrinford gives us a code book that we can use to send messages to us, and he advises Ashleigh to memorize it and destroy the book.
He gives us some tart comments about things that we need to learn about, and the temporal wars going on in that timeline. Among which is a permanent base, if only as a diversion.
We drop off Sherrinford a hundred years earlier, and Carson in 2035. We comment about Sherrinford. Ashleigh thinks that he seemed a little different, and a little distant. Also, we simply dropped him off in London a hundred years earlier with no apparent equipment. Something is Up.
We go off to meet our special detached contact.
We end up in Paddington station, during rush hour. We meet Carson, and a distracting-looking woman. Cantrel notices a third person observing the whole situation. It's been fifteen years for him. Our Woman, named Angelique, is the distracting woman, and there is of course a tall gangly fellow watching them, and someone behind a half-silvered mirror watching him.
We board a train, Lorelei gets us tickets, and talk to Carson. We tell him we want to aid the director.
We debate this being a trap. We debate trading something and dragging Paratime into Transworld in return. We arrange a tentative meeting at the top of the Eiffel Tower two days hence at 1 am.
We debate how we're going to go this meeting, and decide that we'll arrive by a variety of means, including time machine, flight belt, and teleportation.
We go to the Co-Dominion and make another time machine according to Ashleigh's original specs, the original one having been dismantled to save that Jack, and build other time machines.
We arrive by the following methods:
In one of the cafes, Dafnord practices his seduction skills and critically misses. We will spare you gentle readers the details.
We land the time machine on the observation deck. We notice two people on the second deck. The people on the top are Carson and Angelique. They are armed. Alag asks Ashleigh if she wants Carson's gun fixed. Ashleigh leaves it to Alag's discretion. Alag's opinion of discretion is that Carson's gun gets fixed.
We meet Carson and go down some stairs. We got into a dimly lit room, and there are three people there, one of whom we recognize. One fellow looks something like M or someone like that. Sherrinford is there, as is a fellow who looks like a bodyguard.
Lorelei probes the guard, and something triggers, something like the safe room. She's pretty sure that she tripped it when she probed him.
We talk to the director. After a bit, Alag notices that not much is going on. The far-seer gives a different picture. Alag notices that second sight is not going through, either, and is giving an illusion. Lorelei notices about this time that Alag's telepathic acks are repetitive. She tries to get his attention and fails.
We explain to the director that we're not really in possession of a lot of things, and that it's hard to give it out. We also discuss what might be attracting the people here. The Director's opinion is that they're mostly only detecting things.
We decide to vacation in the Greek Isles for a couple of weeks. We have a great time; all the rolls the GM made to get us in trouble start with a zero.
We decide after that to go meet with Carson in Paris. There's a private room for us. Carson smiles -- it's the first time he's seen us in different clothes. After a while, his crest falls, as he realizes we have the same haircuts and jewelry. He wonders if we've reconsidered. Cantrel says no.
They have been trying to come up with an offer, and don't know what to offer. Neither do the statisticians.
Carson offers to send us a detached agent. Cantrel fusses, and wants someone important. Carson offers to send us a manager -- like maybe his.
Cantrel says that the only conditions under which we'd give them a pantope is if they decide to work for us. Carson goes silent after a few more comments about giving us a detached agent, and muttering that now they have a price at least.
They pick up the tab, and we go back to the Fast Times.
Cantrel wants them to be our eyes and ears. Ashleigh fears their agreeing. Glorian wants to destroy the Worldbenders. Cantrel lectures us all about having to open the kimono to other organizations and many of us roll our eyes.
We go to Co-Dominion Helene. Jeremy is glad to see us -- he has three messages. Nearly everyone is out on the ranch but him. There is a request for Chris in the "Athena office" (really on the Jack). Also, Blue and they have gotten themselves into trouble, probably with the blue pencil.
Chris obligingly heads off to the Jack, and the rest of us go off to the ranch.
While we're at the ranch, horses arrive. We tumble out of the house and meet three people there: One of them is Daewen, an extremely pregnant Daewen. With her is her husband, Aelvynstar, and another elf named Sudar.
Glorian -- who is apparently another relative of Daewen's -- asks how long Daewen has been gone from the group. Kate smiles wryly and says, "At least nine months, aye."
Sudar is an elf whom Daewen and Aelvynstar met who misplaced his body. She created him one, and it should last months. This is still not ideal.
We hear about the omniport. Apparently, the omniport we have did not come from Daewen at all. Hmmm.
We start to talk about it, and, as if on cue, Chris pops in, with said omniport. We talk further, and learn that in the course of time, not only Daewen has been away. Alag, Chris, and Lorelei have all also been away, and been to the pocket universe that Daewen met Aelvynstar in -- and attended their wedding, along with Tom. We also learn that Alag has taken a detour of months or years, Lorelei one of decades, and Chris one of centuries. We decide that this conversation should be moved to the Fast Times.
On board the Fast Times, we learn that the pantope came from a friend of the Captain's, a fellow with worldbender connections. According to the people who have met him, he seems okay. We also learn that the Dance of the Hours was shipwrecked in that pocket universe when our old friend, the In-House time gate, blew out, and that the pocket they're in is not stable in either eleven or thirteen dimensions.
Daewen says that she's been off looking for some variety of Faerie, preferably the High Dwarrowgard that Tom was in. Tom was in? Yes, when last they all saw Tom, he was studying with the dwarves in High Dwarrowgard. Chris then tells Daewen that if she wants, he can give her coordinates, as Tom took Lorelei and him on a tour of the place, and he took coordinates then. Daewen gives him a look that indicates to the rest of us that had she known this before, a lot of trouble could have been saved by a Certain Party.
Time passes, a few weeks. In this time Daewen's twin daughters are born, she and Aelvynstar depart for High Dwarrowgard, and we have discussions with Sudar, who has been left with us.
Sudar is a righter-of-wrongs who was separated from his body while trying to defeat some evil or other and his astral cord was cut. ("How awful for you," says Ashleigh, dryly.) We debate a number of ways we might get the fellow a body -- the current one is merely glamorous. Alag, Chris, and Daewen construct him a glamoured dog that can perhaps perceive "green" magic. Sudar himself can, and they hope that this dog can learn to do so too. They are hoping that they can use this to give Chekov, the Fast Times' navigator, a way to home in on Sudar's home world in hopes of finding his body.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.