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Mountjoy on the Warpath

In The Bingo Hall Laundry Chute

Something is falling through the chute. From as high up as the heavens, maybe. Or at least from the girl's dorms. As it passes, it is revealed to be a uniform. Naval. Small. Mud-caked. Empty.

The uniform is followed by a collection of other objects. A vase of flowers. A pair of hairbrushes. A yellow plastic stegosaurus. . .

Some time later, there is a flummp, and then a CRASH and some Clatterings from somewhere far below. Not quite so low as hell, but near enough. And from beyond the depths. . .

. . .comes another sound. A dulcet sound, of enraged Mountjoynian shouting. "OY! 'OO'S PUTTIN' ALL THIS BLEEDIN' JUNK DOWN THE LAUNDRY CHUTE?!"

Meanwhile, out in Reception

calliaphone skippity-hops into the hall, barefoot and whistlin'. her accordion plays Bombasto as she cartwheels past the sofas and crashes into the reception desk.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock notes a distictly Callia-like blur and noise from reception, and scampers over to investigate

calliaphone disentangles herself from Lilith's chair-legs, apologising to the irate receptionist and to her battered accordion, by turns.

calliaphone apologises to her own accordion, it should be noted. Current evidence does not indicate Lilith to be in posession of any accordions.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock hops up on the reception desk, grinning at Lillith "See? Aren't you glad Bernard didn't approve that rolly-chair for you? You'd be halfway to-" he runs off as she reaches for a flyswatter

calliaphone knows just how to sweeten Lilith up. she produces a handful of marshmallows. one pink, one lilac, one white, one green.

calliaphone extends her hand with its peace-offering of pastel-coloured sugar. and smiles beseechingly at Lilith. "don't hurt him Lil, s'jus a bit of mischief, but he loves ya really. we all do."

calliaphone does her best i'm not a little thievin' vandal off the fairground circuit honest eyelash flutter. But Lilith has eyes only for the marshmallows. She picks them up, twixt manicured finger&thumb.

calliaphone grins, and winks to G, while Lilith gets stuck into the sweet stuff. Now you know how callia's been getting her messages typed, lately.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock grins and nodnods "Nice work, ya li'l miscreant. Hows things?"

calliaphone opens her mouth to call G some names in return (friendly-like), but is interrupted by the sound of thunderous shouting from the direction of the laundry chute. Callia frowns. "whassatallabout?"

Plush Jokerbot g_rock headtilts "Idunno! I didn't do it! I wasn't even there that night! You can't pin this one on me, coppah!" he takes a deep breath "Sorry. Lead the way, we'll check it out."

calliaphone looks a bit guilty-like, but follows G, hoping he'll deflect any trouble that might be coming her way. not that she'd ever do anything . . . you know.

calliaphone giggles, realising G's following her and she's following him. this could run and run.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock stops and bows to his dance partner, then scampers off toward the dorm wing

calliaphone skids to a halt. where'd he go? she hears plushie footsteps, and hotfoots it after him.

Corridor, beside the Laundry Chute

Plush Jokerbot g_rock peers up at the wall, looking at the opening to the laundry chute "I think it came from there. . ." of course, he's not tall enough to check it out. . .

calliaphone is tall enough. she approaches with some caution. "what is it? where's it go? is it to the pool?" she really hopes it's not that route to Squat Hole she found one time.

calliaphone peers down the chute, calling. "hellohhhhhhh" the sound bounces away from her, into labyrinthine distance.

Meanwhile, in the Scullery

Mountjoy is not in a good mood. He is, in fact, fuming. And it's not on account of drinking the white spirit. It's the laundry basket that's got his goat, this time.

Mountjoy empties the basket onto the scullery floor. Its contents flummp and CRASH and clatter onto the tiles.

Muttering profanity, Mountjoy sorts: One naval uniform, small, mud-caked, empty. One vase of flowers, broken. One hairbrush, wooden. And another, silver. And one stegosaurus, yellow, plastic.

Mountjoy puts his face into the laundry chute, and HOLLERS, waving his fists for emphasis.

calliaphone's voice echoes down the chute from somewhere. ". . .hellooohhhhh. . ." Hearing her, Mountjoy's face reddens more than ever, and he HOLLERS again, right back.

And Back in the Corridor

A sepulchral voice bounces back from the depths. ". . .BLEEDIN' LITTLE VANDALS I'LL SKIN 'EM ALIVE I WILL. . ."

calliaphone looks round at G, perplexed. "funny sort of echo, wouldn't you say?"

Plush Jokerbot g_rock shrugs "Idunno. Must be the acoustics of the hall."

calliaphone has a sudden, unaccountable urge to feed something down the chute. She simply can't help herself. She reaches out, dreamlike, and grabs hold of G.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock squeaks "Erm. . .uh. . .What're you. . .?" he squirms in her steely grasp

calliaphone 's got that glazey look in her eye that normally only happens with too much sugar or cocoa or welding gas. she advances on the chute, holding G by the scruff of his neck.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock succeeds in flailing adorably and squeaking vigorously "I'm nobody's dirty laundry!"

calliaphone knows that. But there's a chute. and she has to put things in it. it's like a law of the universe. she doesn't remember reading that it's gotta be dirty laundry. but then, she can't read too good.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock is held over the gaping maw, stretching out to interminable blackness below him. He whimpers, and in a last ditch effort, GNOMS down on Callia's fingers

calliaphone YELPS! hand over the chute. her eyes widen as she comes to her senses, but it's too late. that bite hurt. Involuntarily, she lets go. "Eeep! G!!"

calliaphone peers into the chute, yelling. "G? G! HANG IN THERE BUDDY I'm COMIN' TO SAVE YOU!"

calliaphone keeps her promise slightly sooner than she intended, on account of tripping over her feet. Head first she goes, into the chute, bare feet kicking behind her. "waaaauuugghhh. . ."

Plush Jokerbot g_rock 's voice echoes out of the chute, a resounding "eep."

Laundry Chute

Plush Jokerbot g_rock plants his stubby arms and legs against the walls of the chute, wedging himself in place "Callia! HALP!"

calliaphone helps. in a manner of speaking. she follows G down the chute, head-first, eyes shut, mouth open.". . .waaaaaaugggghhhhhaaarrghhhLOOKOUT!!!! "

Plush Jokerbot g_rock is Callia'd! His grip comes loose, and they tumble down the shaft "Gaaaaah!"

calliaphone hangs on tight to G, as if this'll somehow help matters. But of course, it doesn't. . .

Plush Jokerbot g_rock sees a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Well, he's had a good run. As the light approaches, however, he spots. . .Mountjoy? Well, I guess that answers the 'Which Afterlife Awaits' question

Scullery

calliaphone 's voice returns, considerably closer this time, and mixed up with another, squeakier voice."waaaaaauuugghhhhhaaarrgghhhhh. . ."

Plush Jokerbot g_rock makes a sort of "SqueauuughAAAAAH!"

calliaphone 's hands appear first, holding onto G for dear life. followed by the rest of her, still yelling. Mountjoy recoils, but not quite fast enough. The three of them collide in a tangle of not-laundry.

calliaphone does not weigh much, but she don't weigh nothing. and she was travelling kinda fast. The dual impact of her and G knocks Mountjoy right off his feet, and towards the twin-tub washing machine.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock seems remarkably unfazed in the collision, in that he has no internal organs or bones to damage. He does, however, take advantage of the confusion by drawing a Sharpie-Moustache on Mountjoy

Mountjoy ROARS in RAGE and FURY. whether it's the moustache or the forthcoming laundering that's maddened him most, is anybody's guess.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock tumblerolls improbably to his feet "Awww, I get next in the mangle!"

calliaphone deflects sideways to avoid following Mountjoy into the twin-tub. She crashes into the bootstand and is immediately buried in a shower of assorted wellingtons. Mountjoy is not so lucky.

calliaphone struggles to unbury herself, and catches the twintub switch with an unwary wellie. "oops" she says, as Mountjoy's ROARS turn to GURGLEBURBLES.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock tugtugs on Callia's cuffs "Erm. . .Time to make tracks?"

calliaphone brushes a final boot out of her face, and looks round in alarm. "uhh, yeh, er. . . d'you think we oughtta. . ." she indicates Mountjoy's frantically kicking legs. "y'know?"

Plush Jokerbot g_rock shrugs "He's a tough old bastard, and I don't think the taps are on. . ."

calliaphone frowns. "why's he gugleburgling then? ol' drama queen." she yanks the inlet pipes off the taps anyway, just to make sure. then, "ok, c'mon quick. RUN!"

calliaphone catches up G and tucks him under her arm, as she patter-skids out of the Scullery. She's headed . . . somewhere that'll Mountjoy'll never find 'em. "to the Fair, quick." she hisses. and she's gone.

Plush Jokerbot g_rock nods and scampers after Callia

Plush Jokerbot g_rock is, rather, carried off.

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