Princesses:Amazon Brigade/Chapter 08
Chapter #8: Some Assembly Required
<Capn_Ascii> As we join our heroines, we find them neither a rod to spare nor a child to spoil.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You would have seen anything like that lying around in the corridor, and this room is just as sparsely furnished. Unless there's a secret passage or invisible treasure chest around, it's not here.
- Andrea sighs and heads back to talk to the padre.
- Jenny follows Andrea.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You lead the way back throught the corridor, up the ladder, out through the fireplace (Jenny once again has to squeeze through) and out into the graveyard.
- Jenny grumbles about knowing she will have to fit back through there at some future point in time.
- Andrea heads back into the church.
- Andrea hisses at Jenny "You could've waited down there, I was coming back."
<Jenny> "And miss the moment when the Thing attacks you? Never!"
<Capn_Ascii> The priest is exactly where you left him. "Hmm? What do you require now?"
- Andrea sighs. "Okay, I think we should've got your number before leaving. So I can call if I have another question. For now... we found a bronze gate of some sort under the graveyard... do you have the rod to get back there? Or know where it is?"
<Capn_Ascii> He blinks. "Gate? Rod? What on earth are you talking about? There's nothing like that...wait, *under* the graveyard?"
<Andrea> "Yes. Under."
<Capn_Ascii> "How did you even...?"
<Andrea> "Tunnel under Andre's room."
<Jenny> "Who IS Andre, by the way? And what's your name?" Jenny interjects.
<Capn_Ascii> "Andre? And you say there's something beneath the graveyard?" His brow furrows. "This is...distressing. Andre was the gravedigger before the town left. He actually stayed behind with me - I requested his help in...erm." He gets an uncomfortable look on his face. "Well...when the zombies began to emerge, it became clear that some of them could not escape from their resting places without assistance."
- Andrea also starts looking around the church for anything that looks like what she's looking for.
<Capn_Ascii> "He did most of the work in freeing them, but around the time he finished, he up and disappeared. I wasn't sure if he elected to leave town as well, or something happened to him, but either way I've been unable to contact him. Now I'm starting to believe he's been hiding things from me."
<Capn_Ascii> "And," he adds, "My name is Theodore."
<Jenny> "Hope he didn't turn into the ThingInTheWoods," Jenny says offhandedly.
<Suyana> "Makes me wonder if it would even be good to kill a monster that used to be a person. What if they could turn back?"
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You visually scan the room while the Father talks. Something catches your eye - a candleabra sitting on a table in the corner. It's about the right size, and something about the design looks a bit odd.
- Andrea walks to the candelabra in question to examine it more closely.
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You realize that the candleabra is actually two seperate pieces - a normal-looking candleabra head atop a foot-long metal rod that doesn't share the same design. You recognize the carvings on the latter - they're similar to those on the door.
<Andrea> "That rod... looks like it might be what I'm looking for... sort of?"
- Andrea grabs a hold of it and tries to dislodge the candleabra head
<Capn_Ascii> The head is held on by cheap glue and a layer of brass-colored paint, both of which give way easily enough. You're left holding the rod by itself, with a slot on the end that's clearly missing something.
<Andrea> "Hmmm. This isn't what I need... or rather, not all of it." Andrea keeps looking around.
<Capn_Ascii> "Excuse me, but why are you breaking my candles?" The priest seems annoyed. "That was a gift!"
<Andrea> "From Andre?"
<Andrea> "Because this design looks a lot like the rod to unlock that gate. Or something like it."
<Capn_Ascii> He blinks. "You mean...it's a key?" He eyes the rod. "Oh, dear. He really was hiding things from me. He was using *me* to hide things from me!"
<Jenny> "What else did he give you?"
<Capn_Ascii> "That's the only thing I can think of. Why, is there more missing?"
- Andrea looks at the rod more critically. "Something is missing... here," Andrea points at the slot.
<Capn_Ascii> "What does it look like?"
<Andrea> "The slot should have... five prongs arranged around the end like spokes on a wagon wheel."
<Capn_Ascii> "Hmm. It seems like I recall seeing him with something like that, but I can't for the life of me remember where or when."
<Andrea> "Well... great. We need to find this..."
<Jenny> "Anyplace else Andre liked to hang out?"
<Capn_Ascii> "He seemed to like spending a lot of time out in the woods. I believe he had a workshop out there, though I don't know exactly where."
<Andrea> "Think Chuck would know where it is?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Possibly. They've spent far more time out in the woods than I have."
- Jenny nods. "Call him and ask."
<Andrea> "Worth a try," Andrea comments, and dials up Chuck.
<Capn_Ascii> The phone rings several times, but no one answers.
<Jenny> "Call Frank?"
<Andrea> Andrea frowns, dubious, but tries to call Frank.
<Capn_Ascii> The phone picks up. "Chuck? Is that you?"
<Andrea> "No. This is Andrea. I got a quick question for you. Do you know anything about a workshop out in the woods somewhere?"
- Jenny frowns. "Is Chuck missing? The Thing didn't decide it liked zombies after all, did it?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Dammit! I thought maybe Chuck was calling from another phone. You haven't seen him, have you?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, I dunno if he's *missing*, exactly. He's just...not here right now, and I can't get him on his phone, and it's kind of creeping me out being out here all alone, and..." He nervously trails off.
- Andrea sighs. "Where are you?"
<Capn_Ascii> "I, uh...I don't know?"
<Andrea> Andrea facepalms. "Ugh... did Chuck tell you where he was going when he left you last?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well...we were on the way back home, and Chuck said we should stop by the shed and pick up the spare shovel, but then I got distracted by my phone and when I looked up he was gone, and now I'm out here in the woods all alone, and there's a cave here with a bear in it, at least I think it's a bear because it's sure snoring like one but I haven't looked inside or anything, I'm not *that* stupid..."
- Jenny pulls her head away from eavesdropping on Andrea's phone long enough to say "Shed. Where is it?"
<Andrea> Andrea relays that question, "Where is this 'shed' you speak of?"
<Capn_Ascii> "It's out in the woods somewhere. Bunch of tools in it from some guy who lived in town before. We've been borrowing them. I dunno where it is, exactly...Chuck's the one who knows his way around the woods. I always get lost..."
<Andrea> "Clearly" Andrea replies sourly, then thinks for a minute. "I'm going to pass you to my friend for a minute, okay?" Andrea hands the phone to Jenny, whispering to her "keep him on the line, I'm going to try to trace the call, I doubt he can tell me where he is."
<Andrea> Andrea puts action to whispers and digs her computer out, connecting to her phone and trying to trace the active call signal.
- Jenny nods. "So, Frank, can you at least tell us which way we walk out of town to get there? North, south, east west?"
<Jenny> While Andrea hacks the phone, Jenny keeps Frank on the line by asking, "So, whatchya doing with the shovels anyways? Y'ain't digging yourselves new graves or something, are you?"
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You hack into Frank's cell phone signal, and learn among other things, that A) he's being throttled on bandwidth because he's over the data limit, and B) he's about a mile north-northwest of town.
- Andrea points at the signal she's getting. "Let's head there. Either keep him talking, or tell him to stay put."
<Jenny> "Stay where you're at, k? We're on our way. Also, tell me what the shovels are for. I'm dying of curiosity here, man, about what zombies are going to do with shovels."
- Andrea opens the map up to see if she can figure out what the area is like
<Capn_Ascii> There's a brief pause. "...dig?"
<Jenny> "Um...just, dig? For the fun of it?"
<Jenny> "Must be a zombie thing."
<Capn_Ascii> "What? No, we're digging irrigation trenches."
<Jenny> "Oh! Wait, for food? Do zombies eat? Or are these latrine trenches? Wait, do zombies...go?"
<Capn_Ascii> "We grow food for the livestock. Duh."
<Jenny> "Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense."
<Capn_Ascii> "And then we eat the livestock. It's just like when we were alive, except now we don't have to bother with cooking anything."
<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: You pull up a forestry service map of the area. It's mostly woods, but according to this there's a cliff face near Frank's position with a cave in it. No sign of this mystery shed, however. The map is dated a few years ago. Also, the narrator needs sleep.
<Andrea> Andrea nods and continues walking towards Frank.
<Capn_Ascii> The priest steps toward you. "Are you seriously going out there after dark?"
- Jenny shrugs. "Gotta rescue Chuck, eh?"
<Capn_Ascii> "You mean, Frank?"
<Andrea> "Well, both. Frank said he didn't know where Chuck is."
<Capn_Ascii> He leans in close, whispering. "To be honest, I can never tell those two apart either."
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---