We're off to see the Wizard...
Week 3, Finding the Black Mage's Lab
When last we left our crew, they were in the Black Mage's castle looking for either the Black Mage or the mysterious Dimali Findlay Alatar or anyone else who's really a person.
We go up to the drawing room, call out, look for people, finding nothing. After a bit, we notice that there's a mirror with a large sculpted bird on the top, and the bird's head moves and it keeping track of us. We try talking to it, to no avail. Ashleigh goes up to it, chuckles, and says, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest one of all?" The mirror displays a picture of Tomukato's princess.
"How did you know the correct incantation?" asks Glorian.
"It was obvious." explains Ashleigh.
Ashleigh opines that perhaps it responds to verse.
"What rhymes with Black Mage?" asks Jake.
"Rosemary and sage?" suggests Dafnord.
We think for a moment, and then Jake sighs and says, "Mirror, mirror wise and sage, show us our Black Mage." We're rewarded with a picture of the Mage meeting with our people the last time we were here.
"Mirror, mirror, silly cow, show us where our Black Mage is now!" says Jake.
"The meter's a bit lacking," says Glorian. Nothing happens. We wonder if it's insulted or what. We think about more rhymes.
Glorian makes a few notes and then says:
"Mirror, mirror can you say,
We see the mirror zoom in on a free-standing door in the caves where his labs are. Long ago, he let us out of his pantope from this very door. The image zooms in on this door and then stops.
There are also office supplies, desks and the like in the image. Ashleigh and Jake suggest that we read the blotter. We're actually able read the blotter, and it's only got pleasantries. A good idea, a pity it didn't pan out.
We wonder what to do. It's apparent that he's gone off in his own pantope to who knows where. We do know how to get to his lab, so it's starting to look like we oughta go after him. At least we should go to the lab and poke around.
We go down to his lab. We do not manage to find the note we sent him. There's a closed locked door. Spurred on by Ashleigh's lead, Marsina says, "Open Sesame." The door unlocks. We open the door, and go in.
This is the lab, and it's a bit disorderly, but it's in the same shape as we remember. But there's no free-standing door. And there's no small box that he's been using for his pantope. Drat.
Alag tries to retrocog and comes up only with the construction of the lab. We decide to use the omniport, and open a window on here about the time we hit Gorlach. The place looks used, and there's a free-standing door in the middle of the place. We check the time difference -- it's two dimensional.
Sigh. Off to the help functions. According to the omniport, we are in the portion of a continuum that has been folded and has not quite established a continuous equilibrium of what now is, and there are a whole set of answers to the question, "How long ago was that?"
Dafnord notices Deering watching and walks over to annoy him and ask good dumb questions. Chris turns so that Deering can't see quite as well. Marsina asks if we should back up the window to see when the Mage's door appears.
Dafnord asks Deering if he can help, and Deering goes off a corner to play with his gear. Chris asks Alag to keep an eye on Deering, and closes the omniport to avoid interference. Deering reports a lot of anomalies and mutters that he'd just as soon not go or come from here.
"Oh, dear." says Chris. "What if he's been doing something odd? Remember what we have here is an inexperienced time-traveler here, and an inexperienced dimensional traveler what if he's been double-timing the --"
"What an interesting time-piece you have." says Dafnord to Deering. They discuss Deering's watch, which has a lot of calculation functions in it.
Chris wonders if the whole lab has been repeatedly shifted in time and or space and that this is why we end up not having a reasonable place to jump to.
We discuss the openings and dangers of running our window linearly after the window.
Meanwhile, Dafnord chats up Deering, and asks him about Paratime. He tells them about CORC a little, and learns that the term "masters" comes from a naval-style organization.
We discuss what to do, and we consider to scan backwards from now, scan backwards from then, or scan forward from then. We all think that scanning backwards from then is a good plan, but it might preclude our hopping through the door when it first arrives.
We also discuss simply going back to then. We also discuss going back into the six months we were in stasis. There are a number of dangers here, we end up deciding to go to the reading we had with the open door. One advantage of this is that we can always go to the time we were in stasis, should this be fruitless. In the next installment, we go through the door and see what's there.
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.