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The rather large mound of clothing and boots piled up against the ice sheet begins to move.
“OOooo! My poor head!
“$%@#$%^&()_+_)(*&^%$#@!@#$%^&()_+_)(*&^%$ craponacracker THAT was a hard landing”
“SORRY MY RIDER!”
“For every little deed or misdeed he does – he WILL pay even more when I get my hands on him
“AND I will get my hands on him!”
Cap’n Bob starts pacing up and down again by the vertical ice sheet covering where I had stood just moments before.
From the comfort of the HQ I watch on one of the monitors his frantic antics as he keeps on trying to pick off the ice.
Dandydog approaches the Cap’n
“Sir, I think I know someone who can help, if I am permitted to go back to the Tea Room
“I will be most careful with Snow.
“Charlie can then ask the Griffin to come and assist by blasting this ice open with fire”
She leaves and within minutes a beautiful and graceful Griffin flies in to be welcomed by the two dragons with warbles and toots.
She knows what to do and within seconds the ice is no more.
Cap’n Bob hurls himself at the space where it once was but there is nothing but earth where I was standing!
He is almost crying with frustration as he decides to return to the Tea Room and talk with the others.
Dandydog is beaming as she has just had her first lesson on the power of her dragon and the approval of here leader.
The Cap’n tells her to be VERY careful of what she wishes for since he ‘lost his marbles’ over his!
As I was returning From the Tea Room after giving my message to "Griffin," once more I heard Beautiful Snow trilling to me in Her musical voice which for the life of me I really could not understand........It was then that Captain Randy's words about the Ambulate came flying back into My very thick Noggin,,,.....Didn't He tell me that the Ambulate will connect us with the Dragons and vice versa....Hummm.......Lets see here....No, that's not right....sigh....All of a sudden Snow's beautiful voice came to me so clearly I almost fell off!........."Your not heavy at all young Rider so never fear you'll tire me out on our journeys together."....."Wow!........Captain Randy was oh so right....But as I thought back...how was it that I could hear Frost's word's but not Snow's during the ride with Captain Randy?.....Hummm...brain remember to ask Him about that when we get back......
I watch from afar as they all gather around the big table in the Tea Room.
As if by magic, within seconds there is a pile of biscuits and cakes as well as drinks for everyone.
Even though I say so myself – our ‘kitchen’ is second to none in this Realm and I DO miss it!
They are all listening very carefully to what Charlie is saying and so by twiddling one of the knobs by the picture of them I too can hear them as if I am in the same room.
“I tell you all, I can still tune into his thoughts but it is VERY difficult and I do not catch all of them.
“He is on a mission for the good of the Realm and he thinks that you are no longer supporting him with your silly ways!”
Cap’n Bob chips in: “If I remember true then HE can also hear us if he is in that HQey room of Grim’s so we had better keep our voices down!”
They all get closer and start to mumble.
It is then that I have a BRILLIANT idea!
I am still simmering from the treatment I have been given so I return down to the aperture in the Tea Room and tell my broom what to do.
Roo, Roo being quite a small person is leaning forward almost to the middle of the table as she talks. Now her cloak is resting on the back of the chair.
I sneak my broom out of the aperture and snag the end of it and then give it a tug.
I have her incredible cloak which is now tucked away safe and sound in the aperture as I return to the Tea Room.
I continue watching on the picture.
I was detected!
But by Nose who is frantically trying to get Charlie’s attention and relay all that I have just done!
Charlie erupts and tells her pet ‘tiggers’ to go for me – but I am no longer there, so all they can do is piteously growl and then flop back down again on the rug.
The others now get told by Charlie what has just happened and Roo’s reaction brings tears of joy to my eyes!
Time for a few words of my own “to the mix” on the table!
“Charlie – I can hear you and all you tell your pesky pets as clear as a bell
“Your pet Nose just now was within whiskers of being incarcerated in the ‘place in between’!
“What you just did with 'Snuffles' was not nice and in the same way as what the Cap’n did with his 'Ice cube maker’.
“By the way - I bear no malice but tell the Cap’n that Salty has just ‘mislaid’ all his stock of honey rum and has a note which says that there is no more forthcoming until the last lot is paid for!
“The Cap’n will now be able to concentrate his mind on whether or not my magical boots are to be returned
“No boots - then no Cloak!
“He must also promise that there will be no repercussions on recent events, and I will forgive you lot if you forgive me
“The menace here is both near and urgent and I cannot solve it on my own.
“But I will continue to try if you all persist with your petty squabbling!
“Angel – I blame you for not doing anything positive to alleviate matters
“Perhaps YOU should be 2ic if the Cap’n cannot forgive and forget as I will resign as a Musketeer!”
I have to turn off the sound due to the cacophony of howls and screeches with a LOT of bad language!
I am frustrated as hell at almost having that loonie toon PTG in my grasp.
It seems he has found a way to Grim's liar, now is it the main liar or one of the hundreds of off shots ?
If he found and I have a gut feeling he did he should be in her main control room,,,, and I have feeling I know where that is ,, remembering the long talks Jennie wren and I had when Grim first went MIA .
Seeing Jen will be of no good to me for Lord only knows what quest ,,,, how far in that quest or did she finally find Grim and is on the way back??
I have no way of knowing so I can not sit on me butt and wait .
I can hear the confusion in Pups voice and the many questions she still has.
We land in the open field and dismount Pup you seem to be confused let me help you.
Frost is my Dragon and I his rider right ,,, she shakes her head yes,,, okay and as I have explained many times to many people it is the Dragon who choices there Rider yes? I get a yes from Pup.
You deepest dream has always been to see,,, ride ,, and have a Dragon of your own yes?? her eyes grow big yes....
Well Pup there must be something in your past that has lead Frost to his sister and to you,
Pup looks like she is going to pass out,,, now it might have something to do with your Grandpa's Joe sword and that beautiful pole you showed Salty that came from Pern you know and was bestowed upon in honor of his fighting and defend Pern with me many many years ago that is where I recieved my Sai and my sword from The Golden Queen that is why she and I are so connected more about that later.
So now listen carefully Pup ,,, I take her Amulet and say watch ,,, I turn and twist and let her think and hear at every point I hit,,, I turn it off then tell her to turn it on ,,,, she does so by rubbing it and thinking my name ( fast learner my Pup) I answe yes Pup I hear you.
WOW WOW WOW so cool,,,, she then turns it to all and speaks to Frost ,,,,, **** YES I HEAR YOU*****...
She then speaks to Snow ****** YES MISTRESS I HEAR YOU******
She can also hear everyone thoughts that have there Amulet on,,, wow Cap this is confusing,,,, you will learn what to use and what to block it is not as hard as it sounds,,,,
Cap? why did Snow call me Mistress ??? oh Pup Pup did you not hear me when I said it is the Dragon that choices there Rider???
Yes but .................... OMG you mean,,,,, I am??? are you serious??? can this be true?? your kidding me right???? this is all a dream and I am going to wake up and POOF it is gone...............
I laugh only in the mind of the young,,,,,,,,,,, Well do not ask me ask your Dragon ,,,, I wait for my words to sink in,,,,,,,,
I watch as Pup turns and looks deep into Snow's beautiful eyes,,,, is this true mt beauty ??? I am to have the honor of being your rider?
**** YES MISTRESS YOU HAVE NOW COMPLETED MY WORLD,,, I HAVE MY BROTHER AND MY RIDER AS WELL AS OUR LEADER CAPTAIN RANDY*********
Something is gnawing at me like I am missing something,,, something important,,,
How can I be so stupid..... I must take Snow and Pup to The Main Camp and present her Snow and Dandydog and to bless there union .
I tell Pup what has to be done and that we will leave sunrise.
All this PTG crap will have to wait but I will have a meeting to explain to Angel , Roo and everyone else what we have found and what to do and NOT do until we return.
Okay Frost Snow go hunt I am sure you are as hungery as Pup and I are,,
Like a feather on the wind they are off as Pup and I return to The Tea Room with our news.
In particular Roo is screeching at him to make peace NOW!
I continue to listen to their mutterings carefully and am very fortunate in catching snatches of their quieter conversation.
None of it seems to be of a placatory nature!
It is when he mentions to the others: ‘All this PTG crap will have to wait’ that I realise that he will do nothing and so obviously thinks that he can contain ‘my problem’!
Well he was around when we were first introduced to this room by Grim so perhaps he can locate it once more. But he was a hop-along Robo Randy when we had to form a second base and he certainly won’t know the location of that.
This room is far away from the main one and is more basic in its furnishings and gizmos, but it does function in much the same way.
Better to be safe than sorry and so I move to my new hidey-hole.
I make sure though that it seems as if I am still occupying the main HQ room if he does appear.
Time to discover more about our foes intentions while my erstwhile partners continue to wrangle in the Tea Room.
I twiddle some knobs in order to view the CEO’s room and who it contains.
As Captain Randy and I enter through the Tea Room's doors, once again I could feel the warm Cozy Feelings that comes with Family near by.....waiting to welcome us home........."Captain, may I be excused for a bit to go and see how Granny's doing and tell Her about Snow?"........By then Captain Randy was completely surrounded by our Friend's and His Admirers which much to His astonishment were quite a few!....But I knew He understood Me when His big beefy hand shot way up with His "Thumbs Up" OK!........."Granny Fletcher!" Look at you looking all spiffy like sitting there by the widow........and are those some of Miss Katts Tea Room Menus I see scattered around your slipper cover tootsies? Well Young'un, Doctor Deadman told me just today that if it was alright with Captain Randy..."That Sweet Old Codger"........Doc Deadman?....No silly Goose...Captain Randy! Now please pay attention Dandydog........If the Captain gives His Ok, I can act on actuation as the Tea Room's Hostess whenever Miss Katts needs me too.....No cooking or cleaning though...sigh....boy will I ever miss the former though cause you know how much I love to bake and such....."Granny, I received a Gift today that fill's me with such a huge amount of Joy....I don't know how I will be able to contain it all"........It's a Dragon Granny! The most Beautiful Dragon in all of Midnight Castle's entire......It was then...through the Ambulate hanging around my neck that I knew something was amiss in the Tea Room's front Parlors where our Special Room's Folk had gathered....."What's wrong Child?"........I'm Needed immediately out front Granny but will return as quickly as I can.........
As I wait in the open field with Frost and Snow ,,, my mind is a whirl with thoughts and so many question.
Why has my second in command and I thought my friend **** even though we butt heads a lot**** why would he act this way ??
Why would he say such nasty things about us and more so the critters we all have been there for him when needed.
Yes I do come down hard on him at times but with good reason and not out of malice or to be hurtful.
The one thing I am very nervous about his actions right now is he seems to have forgotten or does not care about what The Mage said.
She has warned us all that her gifts to us if miss used for the wrong reasons and not as they were attended she would take them back and they and herself would never been seen or heard from again.
Does he not know she meant very word??
What is he trying to prove by defining her??
What is his *** CUNNING PLAN*** that is doing nothing but getting him in hot water and causing trouble and hurt feelings??
Right now he is acting like a spoiled child that wants his way and if he does not come to his senses I am afraid of what harm will come to him,,, seeing we do not as yet know where he is hiding ,, what he is doing,, and alone bootless and I am so sure very hungry and missing his special tea.
I do not even know if he can hear us because we can not hear him and what about his Amulet ???does he have it and is turned off??
So many questions and no answers.
This is such a bad time to have to leave for awhile but I am being called.
Pup comes running to the open field with a very worried look on her face.
What is it Cap ?? you sounded so worried??
No Pup it is not over you I am worried but we will deal with that later right now we have to return to The Main Camp.
He eyebrows raise to her hair line ,,, now pup listen very carefully ,,, Frost and I must take you and Snow back to the main Camp and you are to be presented to The Golden Queen and she will then acknowledge Snow as a true Pern Dragon and Frosts Twin sister and bestow all the honors and duties that go with it.
Snow in turn will present you to Our Queen as her choicen rider.
Pup starts to stutter , I am ?, you mean? , for real?? is this a dream?
It is all true Pup so get it all out now before we meet The Golden Queen.
She starts to pace and takes deep breaths trying to take this all in and understand it all how this lill girl went from a wild teenager to my Putt Putt driver to a Dragons Rider???
I see her stop take a huge breath ,,, square her shoulders and walk to me and say okay my Captain lets get the show on the road and her face lights up and she grins from ear to ear.
I hug her and say okay lets go,,,,, she has no idea that this is just the start of her journey that there is more to come and it involves Pern and my Imp
We both take our places me on Frost and her on Snow and light as air we are off.
As we soar through the sky I rub my Amulet and call Charlie.
Charlie is Mrs. Fletcher close to you?
Yes she is having a cup of tea right beside me.
Good would you please see if she has her Amulet on her neck.
Yes she does what's up?
Can you show her how to open it for I am sure it is not on..
Charlie leans over and I hear her talking to Mrs. Fletcher,,,
Oh dear Oh dear how do I do that and what is wrong?? why does my sweetie I mean Captain Randy need to talk me ** Oh Dear,,,
Charlie says it is okay remember we all have an Amulet so we can be in touch with everyone .
Oh yes yes I remember now,,,what do I do Charlie dear.
Charlie tells her to take the Amulet and rub it gently and call Captain Randy I will show the rest later a bit at a time.
Mrs. Fletcher takes her Amulet in shaky hands and gently rubs it and calls me ,,,, Charlie will explain how she can do that with out speaking but a bit at a time.
I hear Mrs. Fletcher and answer yes Mrs. Fletcher I hear you I just wanted to tell you that Pup is with me and we will be gone a short while so do not worry okay,,, I can not see her but she is shaking her head yes ,,,
The other thing dear heart I spoke to Doc Deadman and he said you are doing very well and that you can do light duties but not to over do it .
That means dear heart you can help Miss Katt and Opel ,, I know you miss doing things so you have been given the go ahead by Doc Deadman and myself,, but do not over tire your self you are still building your strength and in no time you will be right as rain.
***Oh Dear Oh Dear Captain I am so happy thank you I feel better all ready.***
Okay I leave you in the very capable hands of Charlie ,, Miss Katt and our dear Opel so see you soon Cap out.
As Captain Randy on Frost and Me on Snow soar above the Castles many Realms, my mind wanders to a long ago tucked away Memory of the first time as a young girl...(young in experience as well as age).......Captain Randy brought me to His Main Camp...(Could this be the very same Camp that we would be staying at when we landed?)... Because I trusted Captain Randy so much I was not one bit frighten about the going's on in this Camp. Opel, His Camp Cook then and Captain Randy's Friends also His Worriers made feel right at home........But...there were times after my assigned duty's were done..(boy did I dislike peeling all those spuds for Opel I can tell you!)......I'd missed my Granny Fletcher and the Special Room Friends back in the Castle and Tea Room so much.....during these times in the early Twilight hours, I would take a little stroll up to an outcropping that overlooked the Camp Site and watched as the Camp would start to prepare for the coming night. It was here that I met and come to love "Precious".......The sweet crippled Kitty that has made her home with Charlie. "The Golden Queen!"....I could not believe that I would at last get to meet Her!.......Do I bow or curtsy?...I don't know...But I do know this...I'll just watch Captain Randy and follow His lead..then I can't go wrong....As we travel toward the Camp I could not help but wonder about His worried and sad thoughts about PTG that softly came through our Ambulate connection .........This brought tears to my eyes but knew this was between Captain Randy and PTG to work out between themselves when the time is right..........
I tune into the ornate gothic style CEO office that he likes to regard as his personal space.
Little does he realize that he merely has the use of it from the true masters of the Realm – our Developers!
Opposite him in elaborate robes that would do justice as a window dressing for Kayly’s Fabric Shop sits our true enemy in the room – the Bone Kingdom Sorcerer.
Before them on a table are plans of the ground floor of the Castle.
The sorcerer with his wand dipped in some sort of red ink is scribbling lines all over it.
As he draws, he is saying:
“There! I think that would be most satisfactory if you could persuade your minions to agree on these minor alterations to the fabric of the Castle and of course contain any rebels who oppose this!
“In fact, if you make an immediate start on this by demolishing all these internal walls, we can pre-empt any such opposition!
“Capture of those rebels who oppose you would also be a great benefit and we would pay you handsomely for their transference into our jail!”
As if by magic large bags of gold and diamonds are transferred into the CEO’s coffers as inducements to begin this work.
I must find out what on earth they are talking about.
If only I am not too late?
Internal walls? Ground floor of the Castle?
Surely that means the area by the moat.
Yes! I can see some of the squiggly red lines covering that area which obliterates the Tea Room and Kitchen walls!
An immediate start?
But that would remove the local apertures or at least their access. And Roo Roo’s cloak is in one of them.
I fly back there at a speed exceeding that of sound!
I grab Roo’s cloak and hot foot into the Tea Room.
Before me with various expressions of bewilderment or open-mouthed astonishment are my partners!
“YOOOOOUUUUUU!” as an apoplectic Roo launches herself at me!
“Shurrup and listen all of you - this is NOT A DRILL!
“Here is your cloak Roo. Put it on NOW and disappear
“Time to explain all later.
“Charlie LEAVE NOW for your animal pens and take all the animals with you!
“They intend to arrest you!
“Angel, pack up all your gear and mingle with the worthy citizens finishing off the Spring Event in the rooms above.
“Opel, this is a military style immediate evacuation of a soup kitchen and Cap’n Bob must have trained you to do this in the past. Miss Katt will help.
“I will accompany you with Mrs Fletcher on my back if necessary
“We MUST ALL LEAVE NOW!
“And keep your amulets open.
“The Cap’n has to know what is going on!”