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Seeker finishes his meal and burps gently to convey his satisfaction. He calls Katt over: “Thank you kindly for that scrumptious meal (as he pats his stomach)…. While eating, I noticed that Playingthegame went to Grim’s room to check on her. If he comes out before I return, please tell him that I must be gone for a short time, but not to worry.” She nodded and returned to the kitchen with the used dishes.
Soon, from the kitchen, Katt hears some muffled sounds coming from the direction of the Lion’s Den, but when she looks out the window, she sees nothing amiss. Still, she plans to report it to Seeker or PTG, just in case.
Just as she was starting to get worried (for Seeker had been gone for several hours), she saw him stop to talk with Annikabelle for a few minutes before coming into the Tea Room. Shortly afterwards, all those who were in various places also entered the Tea Room, sat down and started murmuring amongst themselves. At Seeker’s nod, Katt went to Grim’s room to retrieve PTG.
When all were seated, Seeker began:
Ahem….ahem…. quiet please. Today, this hour, is the time for departure (more murmurings – I thought we had one more day; I’m not ready yet) ….. ahem…..ahem….please be quiet so all can hear.
Thank you....... Now, as I was saying … the time for departure is now. If we all work together, we can finish up with the packing/loading in about an hour or so……. No ….. no….. you cannot take EVERYTHING with you so each of you just take a few precious items. Things can easily be replaced….. people cannot (with this Seeker looked in PTG’s direction and saw a sudden sinking of his shoulders)…… Right….. now, as I was saying….
Charlie ….. your job is to use your animals to gather up all those we will be taking ….. have them follow in an orderly manner to the Lion’s Den and board the Flying Boat…… Please do not use any whistles to call the animals because Adrian will surely hear and be alerted to our plans. I believe you can communicate with some of them mentally, so put your Amulet on low static (so it won’t bother their ears) and get your instructions out as quickly as possible. The blimp is still floating relatively close to the Lion’s Den, so it shouldn’t take too long to get everyone transferred….. Charlie nodded her head that she understood. (With those instructions, Seeker handed her several vials of fog powder.)
Katt …..your job is to pack up the rest of the food for the journey. There is already a storehouse of food on board the boat for the animals, so they will be properly fed. But, the people will need food enough for at least 2 meals. …… Katt nodded she understood.
Roo ……I’m assuming you are “armed” and ready for any “situations” that may come up? Good! I don’t think you will be needing any, but a little dynamite and additional fire power never hurts to have close by. PTG will be busy holding his ring in position so the invisibility shield will keep everyone hidden. Do you think you can handle the steering of the boat? Be sure to take Angel with you as a helper. ….Roo nodded that she was well prepared for any assault and that she would have no problem with steering the boat.
Oh, and Roo ….. along with the decoy today…. I installed a small modification to the real Flying Boat. Just to the left of the ship’s wheel, you will see a 1 inch black button with a large H on it. That is for “hyperdrive.” When you get aloft and sufficiently clear of all buildings, be sure everyone is buckled in and secure, then press the button. The Flying Boat will then go into hyperdrive, which will reduce your flight time to Delphi from several days to only a few hours…….again, Roo nodded she understood.
Ame …..Would you please help PTG to get Grim loaded into the boat? This will be one of the most difficult tasks because you cannot use the fog powder to hide her – in her condition, she should not be breathing anything other than just fresh air. PTG can use his ring to make the dome so you can travel unseen…. But, you must move quickly because we don’t want the use up too much of the ring’s power.
Annaleise ….. I cannot see you, but I know you are here. This afternoon, I quickly built a “decoy” boat … we WANT Adrian to actually see the boat so he will not look for the shielded one. He will focus on that one, which should give the few extra minutes the others will need to get aloft and ready for the journey. (He did not see her nod, but he could swear he heard a small giggle coming from the back of the room.) And, Annaleise…..once the boat is in the air, let’s see just how big an explosion you can make of it….(NOW, he could swear he heard laughter and tapping of feet as if someone were jumping up and down with glee.)
With those assignments delivered, Seeker approached PTG at his table. Softly, he spoke:
Will you be okay? (PTG just looked up with a vacant look on his face, so Seeker sat at the table next to him before continuing.) It isn’t your fault, you know. …Sometimes when we lose someone in a tragic manner, we tend to blame ourselves. We ask what if I had done such and such… or what if I had said…… There was nothing you said or did that caused her to go away. There was nothing you didn’t say or do that caused it. Perhaps she should have told you of her plans, but she just thought it would distress you more or that you would try to alter the outcome. And, with her staying behind, would you really have slept any better knowing she was locked in this world with Adrian? At least now you know she cannot be encouraged or tricked into telling him where everyone went.
She was always in your corner….always coming to your aid when you were in need. Those are treasured memories that no one can take from you. And, do you think I just “happened along?” …. No….I was sent by her when she thought you needed a “firmer hand” than she could give. Even though I will not be going with you to Delphi, I am not called “Seeker” for nothing. ….. Seek and you shall find…..For I am the Seeker of tunnels AND people. While not there, I shall not be far away.
With that Seeker rose from the table, gently slapped PTG on the back and said: Ok, my man….it is time to put on your Big Boy Britches and get this show on the road.
He then nodded to everyone, and they left the Tea Room to perform their assigned tasks. Ame gently helped PTG up and together they walked toward Grim’s room.
I SET MY AMULET ON LOW, CALLED TO POE. POE DO YOU SEE ANY PETS WHO ARE NOT ALREADY ON THE FLYING BOAT? IF SO CAN YOU COMMUNICATE TO THEM TO GO TO THE LIONS DEN. I WILL BE THERE SHORTLY. I WILL MAKE SURE THEY ARE LOADED AND COMFORTABLE. IT WILL LOOK LIKE I AM TAKING PRECIOUS FOR A WALK. I REACHED INTO MY CARPET BAG AND PICKED UP PRECIOUS. HE OPENED A SLEEPY EYE AND LOOKED AT ME. IT IS TIME TO GET SOME FRESH AIR DEAR. SAM YOU COME TOO. I WILL RETURN AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. THEN SAM AND I LEFT. I LOOKED AT ANNALEISE, SHE HAS A SMILE AS BIG AS THE STATE OF TEXAS. SHE COULD HARDLY CONTAIN HERSELF. YOU MUST WAIT A BIT I TOLD HER. AFTER YOU BLOW THE FAKE AIRSHIP HAVE SOME FUN HERE IN THE CASTLE. I WILL MISS THIS YOU. BUT I WILL SEE THE OTHER YOU SOON. AND LEFT THE TEA ROOM.
WHEN I REACHED THE LION'S DEN THEY WERE ON WATCH. SEVERAL PETS HAD ALREADY MADE IT THERE. I LOADED THEM AND WAITED FOR MORE TO ARRIVE. IT WAS A GOOD THING MOST OF THE PETS HAD MADE IT HERE ALREADY AND HAD GOTTEN ON BOARD. I SAW BABY WITH EGOR ON HER HEAD. BEAU, NOSE, INK SNOOP, REST OF MY PETS. WAIT A MINUTE I DID A HEAD COUNT. WHERE WAS TROUBLE. I SPOKE QUIETLY INTO MY AMULET. TROUBLE WHERE ARE YOU. IT IS A GOOD THING DOC POPPET HAD STOPPED IN THE TEA ROOM. HE HAD CHIPPED TROUBLE AND PRECIOUS.
TROUBLE CAME LOPING UP FUR DIRTY, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN. HE GAVE ME PICTURES OF THE MOAT. THE ENCLOSURE AND THE TAVERN. HE HAD BEEN TO SEE THE CHILDREN BUT THEY WERE BUSY SELLING CARROTS AND COULD NOT PLAY, HE HAD GOTTEN INTO THE CRYPT AND THE BROKEN CARRIAGE. ALMOST FALLEN IN THE BROKEN WELL. TRIED TO GO INTO TRINA'S BUT MAMA WOLF WAS IN A FOUL MOOD AND CHASED HIM OUT. LOOKED INTO THE TEA ROOM BUT I WAS GONE. THEN CAME WHEN I CALLED. HE HAS ALWAYS LIVED UP TO HIS NAME.
I PUT HIM ON BOARD. TOLD HIM TO STAY PUT I WOULD COME BACK SOON. I HAD TO SEE TO OTHERS. I WENT BACK TO THE DECK. THERE WERE A GROUP OF PETS WAITING. I LOADED THEM THEN ASKED POE. HE HAD SEEN ANY MORE. NO HE REPLIED. YOU HAVE DONE YOU JOB VERY WELL NO GO BELOW AND GET SOMETHING TO EAT AND DRINK. DO NOT LET ANY OF THE PET LEAVE THE BOAT. WE WILL JOIN YOU SOON.
WITH THAT I TURNED TO THE LIONS. YOU ARE TO GET ONBOARD AS SOON AS THE REST OF THE PEOPLE FROM THE TEA ROOM ARE ON BOARD. YOU JOB HERE WILL BE DONE THEN BUT YOU WILL HAVE A NEW JOB WHEN WE GET TO WHERE WE ARE GOING. KITTEN SAM HAD BEEN CHATTING WITH THE LIONS. OR SO IT SEEMED. THEY NODDED AND CONTINUED TO PATROL CLOSE TO THE FLYING BOAT.
PRECIOUS SAM AND I MADE OUR WAY BACK TO THE TEA ROOM. I HOPE THERE IS A LITTLE COFFEE LEFT I NEED SOME.
I ENTERED THE TEA ROOM, EVERYONE WAS RUSHING AROUND PACKING THE LAST MINUTE ITEMS.
I WENT TO THE KITCHEN WHERE KITT WAS PACKING UP THE LAST OF THE FOOD. IS THERE ANY COFFEE LEFT I ASKED. BUT BEFORE SHE COULD ANSWER ANNALIESE HANDED ME A MUG OF COFFEE. THANK YOU ANNALIESE, COME LETS GET THESE PETS INTO MY CARPET BAG WE CAN CHAT TILL IT IS TIME TO LEAVE. WE WENT TO THE TABLE IN THE CORNER WHERE MY CARPET BAG WAS. NIX WAS STILL ASLEEP IN IT. I PUT PRECIOUS IN NEXT TO HIM AND SAM FOLLOWED.
ANNALIESE AND I SAT. WE CHATTED WHILE THE OTHERS PLACED BOXES BY THE DOOR TO TAKE WHEN WE LEFT.
As I sit beside Grim I reflect on what Seeker has just said.
The terrible loss of my Fairy Godmother still weighs heavily on my mind but so does her thoughtfulness and courage.
If it hadn’t had been for her intervention we would have never met Seeker or been able to get his invaluable help.
The plans are all in place. Everyone is geared up for the move and “a rarin’ to go”.
We cannot delay any longer or some of the animals will get bored and start eating each other!
So I call to Breeze to open the Kitchen door and then scoop up the slender (too slender now?) furry form of my dear partner Grim in my arms.
Finding that Grim's slender still form tucks neatly over my shoulder I move rapidly to the Tea Room.
I move back to the Tea Room where the others are all loaded up with their “essentials” and looking to me as their temporary leader.
“Keep close and do not stray!”
“We need to keep within the amulet’s invisibility bubble
“Charlie can you please tell Annaleise to make JUST a small amount of mayhem in the unworthy CEO’s office by broadcasting the fact on all the loudspeakers there that Cap’n Bob is on his way back to his room in the Hospital Wing.
“Then for her to return to her planned diabolical deeds since we are now on the move”
Before we depart I hug each of my partners and thank them for their extreme bravery in joining our band of “daring doers”
“It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to help you try our best to stem the tide of evil that is prevalent in this Realm.
“But it has become too powerful at the moment and so we must leave now”
I have bribed my broom with the promise that it can have a week’s holiday if we are successful
It can sweep up the dust and debris for 24 hours a day without any interruption.
All it has to do is to place all of us and our precious cargo into the charabanc and zoom over to the Flying Boat.
After some short negotiations with my broom and caving in to everything it demanded, a sumptuous charabanc fills the room complete with seats for all of us and a special place for Charlie’s chair!
Looking mystified at me Roo mutters: “And just how do we get from in here to out there?”
“Oh! Ye of little faith” I exclaim.
“You were not around when we rebuilt the Tea Room.
“Seeker kindly altered the plans so that we could stay inside but enjoy the vista outside on balmy summer days by having the front wall collapsible!”
“Everyone hold on tight and PLEASE take care of Grim!”
The front wall folds back. I hold tight onto my amulet and we zoom out of our beloved Tea Room for the last time in this Realm.
As we clear the Castle there is a series of eruptions, explosions and caterwauling from behind as Annaleise lets rip with all her considerable imagination.
As we look back she is making water figures out of the muddy moat and hurling them into the Tea Room!
Fake figures! Now why didn’t I think of that!
But we need to get to the Flying Boat now as quickly as possible and disembark under the power of my amulet to keep us hidden.
There everyone quickly finds their place for the longer journey and the Boat takes off.
Annaleise continues to cause mayhem but this time assisted by some rather large real-time explosions which result in spectacular pyrotechnics over the blimp!
Within seconds we are hidden by my amulet’s power, go into hyper drive and zoom to our new destination!
Now is the time to use the fog powder to keep us hidden and hopefully safe during our several hours journey to Delphi.
The ghost players and I have been busy over the last few days, preparing for our friends’ arrival. Annaleise has been popping in, keeping both me and Sebastien informed of the situation. Sebastien has been monitoring the main portals.
For here there is an Adrian as well. Whether he will react to their arrival or ignore it is unknown at this time. For now, he and the other denizens of the Castle have ignored us.
Same dangers, different reactions.
Sebastien has set up a patrol on this side, using members of Lexandre’s pride he had transported earlier, the griffins from Cloud City, several chimeras, a sphinx, several wampus cats, two shishi some cabbits and shisas and . . . the kittielephant.
“She is quite unique. Her mistress will appreciate that she and the other hybrids were rescued.”
Annaleise appeared and disappeared. The final migration has now begun. All we can do on this side is wait.
When Seeker finished I sent Buddy, Cash and Wickerbat on to the flying boat then got up to help PTG. I helped him to stand and stayed with him till we got to Grim’s room then he sent me away saying h could carry her and went inside.
I returned to my chair to fix my carpet bag so that I could make it a backpack again and saw it with the rest of the items to be moved to the boat. Finding a pencil and paper, instead I made a name tag for it and put it on. Then helped where I could until we were ready to leave.
when PTG came out with Grim then transformed his broom I knew this was going to get fun. PTG placed Grim on a couch seat so she could lay down still and I buckled her in then took the seat next to her. When I had looked up, I noticed the pile of things that we are taking with uses stoed in the back. Once we were all settled and buckled in and I heard PTG explain how we were getting out, we were off.
It was only a matter minutes before we reached the flying ship. I got myself out of the seatbelt and then Grim. I tried picking her up and discovered just how light she is. I got her off the charbanc and was directed to a hammock where I could put her.
I was soon joined by my furry friends and we sat with Grim for the duration of the trip. Some time after we got going, I made a new friend/companion. A tiny faerie came to me that looked just like the one that had been in my dream. We talked and she purched on my shoulder for safety when I invited her stay with me until she is ready to be on her own.
At a safe distance from all the mayhem created by Annaleise (WoW, she is good at what she does!!!), Seeker watches as each person goes quickly about their task…. When PTG and Ame emerge with Grim, he sees a new resolve on the man’s face, and he is pleased. (Well, the silly man tried to use his amulet for the invisible shield, but Ame reminded him it was his ring and the fog lifted --- he was once again the purposeful PTG that Seeker remembered seeing in the Tea Room when he first met the Captain.) …… Was that only a short while ago? …….. It feels like years.
He then watched as the Flying Boat took off and went into hyperdrive…..he watched as it became a pinpoint in the sky and disappeared from this realm. They were safe…… he had done his job. The Godmother Woman would be proud of him if she knew how it all had gone according to plan……. But …….. maybe she does know. Who will ever know with that woman…..
Shaking himself from his revere, Seeker picks up the Fairy Tale Book, and starts his long walk back to the forest behind the Seven Dwarves.
I WAS SURPRISED WHEN THE THE HUGE CHARABANC APPEARED IN THE TEA ROOM THERE WAS HARDLY ANY ROOM TO MOVE AROUND IT. I STOOD CHECKED TO SEE THAT ALL WAS WELL WITH THE PET IN MY CARPET BAG. SAM AND PRECIOUS WERE AWAKE. NIX SLEPT ON. THEN MY CHAIR WAS LOADED ON THE CHARABANC I A SPOT MADE FOR IT. I WAS SHOCKED BUT GRATEFUL. I MUST REMEMBER TO THANK PTG. ONCE IT WAS SECURED I CLIMB INTO THE CHARABANC SETTLED INTO THE CHAIR MY BAG ON MY LAP. WHEN EVERYONE WAS ON BOARD THE FRONT WALL OPENED AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY. AT THE FLYING BOAT WE QUICKLY GOT SETTLED MY CHAIR IN A QUIET SPOT OUT OF THE WAY. THE LIONS REFUSED TO BOARD SAYING THEY WERE TO OLD TO START OVER. THEY WERE STAYING HERE. I WISHED THEM WELL. THEN I WENT TO THE CHAIR I SET MY CARPET BAG ON IT AND WENT BELOW TO WATCH OVER THE PETS AS WE LEFT.
I THOUGHT TO ANNALIESE. WELL DONE, WELL DONE. SHE WAS CAUSING ALL KINDS OF TROUBLE. AND COVERING OUR DEPARTURE. SCREAMS AND SHOUTS FROM THE CASTLE INDICATED SHE WAS DOING AS PTG ASKED. THE THE FAKE BOAT TOOK OFF. RISING THE EXPLODED. I DO HOPE ADRIAN BELIEVES THAT IS US AND SOMETHING WENT WRONG. IT LOOKED LIKE ALL THE THINGS THAT GO BOOM EXPLODED. HE KNEW WE HAD DYNAMITE. SINCE WE HAD USED IT. SINCE GHOSTS NEED HUMANS AROUND TO INTERACT WITH I LEFT HERE WITH ONE THOUGHT. CAUSE AS MUCH TROUBLE AS YOU WANT HERE FOREVER. NOW SHE WOULD LIVE ON. SHE HAD A MISSION.
I WENT TO THE PETS THEY DID NOT SEEM TO NOTICE WE WERE MOVING. THEY WERE EITHER EATING, DRINKING WATER, SLEEPING, OR PLAYING. I OPENED MY AMULET HOPING IT WOULD WORK WITH EGOR. EGOR YOU MUST BE GOOD AND STAY WITH BABY. I HANDED HIM A BANANA FROM HIS FOOD STORAGE. IF YOU ARE NOT GOOD. I WILL TAKE YOU OUT INTO THE WILD WHEN WE GET TO OUR NEW HOME. YOU WILL HAVE TO FIND YOUR OWN FOOD. AND WATCH OUT FOR DANGERS BECAUSE NO ONE WILL BE WITH YOU TO HELP. HE UNDERSTOOD ME, FOR HE CLUNG TIGHTER BABY'S TOP KNOT. SHAKING HIS HEAD. JUST REMEMBER, STAY HERE! STAY WITH BABY AND BEAU. I WILL CHECK ON YOU. DO NOT CAUSE TROUBLE HERE. NONE!! WE ARE NOT OUT OF DANGER YET. CHECKED THE FOOD AND WATER BOWLS THEN WENT BACK TOPSIDE TO MY CHAIR.