(back to chapter index)
Chapter 6 - G-in-a-Box
HMS Bingo Hall
Midshipman calliaphone staggers into the hall, with a bruise on her forehead, spreading into her eyesocket. And a gopher trap firmly attached to her hand.
Midshipman calliaphone appears, on closer inspection, to be thoroughly be-grimed, missing her pistol, and shaking from head to foot. she aims for a sofa, but her legs give out. she sits abruptly in the middle of the floor.
Midshipman calliaphone tugs at the gopher trap, trying to get her hand free. it's getting sore. but it won't release. callia cusses softly, and mutters, ". . .not pathetic, and i can shoot so. . ."
Midshipman calliaphone leans against the coffee table, still tugging and muttering. "..and at least i don't go round stealing other people's mail. . ." she thunks the trap against the table in frustration.
Midshipman calliaphone whimpers, shivers, and falls alseep, propped against the table. oblivious to the squeakscufflescuffle going on in her backpack.
Spandex stands over callia and cusses. She kneels down and tries to pry the trap from her hand, and not only fails at that, but fails at waking her.
Spandex gently pushes callia's hair away from her bruise. She runs to the speakeasy and returns with a blanket and pillow. Callia sleeps on, but hopefully somewhat cozier and tucked in.
* * * Later * * *
Midshipman calliaphone stirs. wakes. and whines.
Kestrel takes care to tread quietly as she strides to a door chosen at random. Then she trips over, landing flat on her back, and accidentally yanking at the string. After a moment, she sniggers.
Midshipman calliaphone tugs at her trapped hand, and mumbles incoherently. Hmm. Perhaps it was an overstatement, to say she woke. It is a work in progress, evidently.
Kestrel sits up, and her smile fades to worry when she sees the be-trapped hand. "C-callia? What happened?" She scrambles to her feet, the worry increasing as she watches her.
Midshipman calliaphone blinks sleepily at Kestrel. Her latest shiner is really quite magnificent. seeing a sword raised, she throws up a defensive arm, with a gopher-trap stuck on the hand - a wooden box with a sprung door
Midshipman calliaphone narrowly avoids smacking herself in the other eye this time. she says, "Kes?"
Plush Jokerbot g_rock flies across the room on the end of a string, still in his little ball. He opens one eye "Huh? Wha-" and SPLATs into the far wall. He peels off the wall, slipping to the ground. "Um. . .G'mornin"
Kestrel follows her gaze, then hastily sheathes the foam sword, tangling the string around her hand in the process. "Um. . . yes." She looks a little guilty, having being caught string-handed.
Midshipman calliaphone flinches, and ducks. "nomissiles" whine
Kestrel flinches at the splatting sound. She looks between G and Callia, then decides that the latter is more injured, so kneels next to her, searching in her bag. "What happened?"
Midshipman calliaphone makes big pathetic eyes at Kestrel, and holds out her hand, with the trap attached. "gophers" she says.
Midshipman calliaphone adds, "stuck." just in case anyone thought she was trying to make a fashion statement.
Kestrel pales somewhat. While a small corner of her mind is trying to think what a gopher is, the rest of it is preoccipied with wrestling a medkit from her bag.
Midshipman calliaphone eyes the medkit dubiously. her hand hurts, but she thinks maybe it would hurt less if they could get the trap off, as a first step. it's just a tricky thing to do, one-handed.
Midshipman calliaphone glances across at the missile, who doesn't appear to have moved. "G." she correctly identifies it. Operation Waking Up is moving along nicely.
Kestrel seems to see that problem rather later than she should have. She pauses, in the process of unscrewing a tub of gunk meant for bruises, then looks to G for guidance.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock wobblewalks his way over to the other two "Hey Callia! Nice gauntlets! +1 defense against woodland creatures, right?"
Confused Rookie teh Dave pokes his head in the door and glances around, wondering if anyone else is here. He spots those present and tries to duck back before anyone can spot him.
Midshipman calliaphone looks excessively foolish and sorry for herself, all at once. An astute observer might also notice that her pistol holster is empty. And that her backpack is emitting scuffling noises.
Kestrel reaches out to stop the rookie, demand their name and insist that they stay, and only succeeds in becoming more tangled. She gives a muffled curse, then sets to work on untangling herself.
Midshipman calliaphone frowns at Kestrel. "umm, why's you getting your knitting in a twist?"
Confused Rookie teh Dave peeks back in, trying to stay out of sight. He watches with a confused interest.
Midshipman calliaphone 's backpack squeaks and then scuffles.
Kestrel grins sheepishly at callia. "Erm, I was trying to go. . . exploring. The string and sword just felt. . . appropriate."
Confused Rookie teh Dave blinks, then ahhs softly to himself. He mutters under his breath. "Maybe these are the GERMans she was talking about. . ."
Plush Jokerbot g_rock does some complex ninja-like movements on the trap, and manages to replace Callia's hand with his own body.
Midshipman calliaphone tries to puzzle this out. But she's still got half a forestry's worth of sawdust for brains, and it's frankly all a bit much. She gives up tugging at the trap, and flops down onto her pillow again.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock can't help but think to himself "You head over to examine the trap, and out of compassion, you help Midshipman Calliaphone out of the trap.
Confused Rookie teh Dave stares at the plush. . .thing for a moment, eyes following it into the box confusedly.
Midshipman calliaphone blinks. Her hand is suddenly a lot lighter than she remembered. She lifts it up for a closer look and smacks herself in the eye. "OWFUCK!"
Kestrel glances back to the rookie, surprise clear in her expression. After a moment, she decides to take it as a compliment rather than an insult, and looks worriedly to G-in-a-box.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock thinks 'Wondering how they got in there in the first place, you place your own head and hands in them when SNAP, they clap shut, trapping you inside!
Midshipman calliaphone blinkblinks. actually, that didn't hurt nearly so much as she expe- "G! what the? you . . . i'm free. but you're . . ."sawdust for brains, yeh?
Confused Rookie teh Dave sees Kestrel notice him, and coughs a bit. "Er. . .anyone got a smoke?" He hopes cigarettes exist here. He'd kill for one right now. . .maybe. . .
Midshipman calliaphone clutches her now-freed hand to her chest. All night in a trap, ouchie.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock is suddenly wearing horizontal black and white stripes, and playing a tiny harmonica "Nobody knows. . .the trouble I've seen. . .Nobody knows. . .but headgehogs. . ."
Kestrel nods silently, then pulls a cigarette from a rarely used pocket in her bandolier. She holds it out to him with the arm not currently tangled. "I'm Kes," she murmurs.
Confused Rookie teh Dave reaches out tentatively and grabs the cig between both mittened hands and puts it to his lips. He mumbles a thanks and what could be "Dave", then looks around for a light.
Midshipman calliaphone mumbles something about getting a steak for her eye, and stumbles away.
Kestrel blinks a few times, scruntinising his expression, before nodding. "Good to meet you, Dave." Then she glances to the plush, and rolls her eyes. "Need a hand there?"
Plush Jokerbot g_rock sighs deeply "A cake with a file baked into it, perhaps? A call from the governor? Maybe just a carton of smokes. They're like currency on the inside."
Kestrel raises an eyebrow. "Erm, I'd get you the cake, but I don't know where the kitchen is." She carefully picks up the box, and examines it, looking for a way to release him.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock shrugs "Then, I'm gonna need youse to whack a snitch for me, while I'm stuck on the inside."
Kestrel sends a grin and a vague salute to the clan leader, and then a nod to the other person. "Um. . ." Should she apologise for being here kinda uninvited? ". . .sorry?"
Kestrel throws an incredulous look to the plush. "'Whack a snitch'?" She shakes her head wonderingly, still fiddling with the box, trying to discover how it opens.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock nodnodnods, now wearing a 1930's style pinstripe suit "Y'see, dere's dis guy, right? An' the feds got 'im singing like a canary. I need you to ice 'em, 'fore dey put me away fer life."
Kestrel raises an eyebrow, lifting the box to look him in the eye. "And what does 'icein em' involve?" She smiles sheepishly. "Hello, Bernard."
Plush Jokerbot g_rock sighs a deep, put upon sigh "You know, find that canary of a stoolpigeon, Kestrel, and do what needs doin ta guys what needs gettin got, capiche?"
Kestrel frowns a little. "Firstly, I can't make much sense of what you just said. Secondly. . . capiche? I don't speak much French."
Confused Rookie teh Dave has been watching all this, rather confused, and still lacking flame for his cig.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock is suddenly outside the trap, gripping Kes' lapels desparately "But if you don't take care of the needful, then johnny law's gonna drop the hammer on our whole operation!"
Uncle Bernard tries to explain 'capiche' to Kestrel, being, as he is, a helpful sort, "Capiche. A cross between mammals, birds and fish. Ca-Pi-sh."
Kestrel looks up for a moment, and calls out, "Thanks!" then looks to G, and gives him a reassuring pat on the back. "Explain it to me in English, and I'll do all I can to help."
Confused Rookie teh Dave raises a rather bemused eyebrow at Bernard. "Er. . .doesn't it mean "Understand" or something like that?" He frowns. "Least, that's how it's always used. . .old gangster movies and all."
Confused Rookie teh Dave realizes his cigarette still isn't lit and looks around, hoping someone can help him remedy the situation. "Anyone got a light?"
Plush Jokerbot g_rock eyes her suspiciously, now back in the gopher trap "I see how it is! You're wearing a wire, aintcha! Well, youse can go back ta your g-man handlers, and tell 'em I ain't playin ball!"
Kestrel raises the other eyebrow. "It's called a suit."
Kestrel starts emptying her pockets on the floor. A paper hamburger, some blue thread, a grenade pin, a box - which she hastily returns to the pocket - and a match, which she holds out triumphantly to Dave.
Confused Rookie teh Dave lifts his hands to take the match, then realizes he's still wearing the mittens and frowns at them. "Er. . .can you help me out please?"
Kestrel chuckles. She strikes it against an inside pocket of her jacket, waits for a split second for it to flare, then holds in beneath the cig."It's a foul habit, but I understand the reasons."
Confused Rookie teh Dave takes a few puffs and sighs, letting the cig hang on his lips - trying to handle it would be rather dangerous, and might damage the cig. "Yeah. . .well. . .get dropped here like I di. . ..wait. . ."
Kestrel looks curiously to Dave. "Yes?" Her eyes slide to the box, and she murmurs, "Hey, stop that sulking, G."
Plush Jokerbot g_rock is sitting in the corner of the box in a straightjacket "Places like this, they do things to a man. . ."
Confused Rookie teh Dave frowns. "Erm. . .it's nothing. . ."
Kestrel sighs, and pulls the box into a hug, giving the top a reassuring pat. She watches Dave, and nods. "If you say so."
Merlin pokes her head out from the cellars. "Em.. why on earth do we need a Dungeon?" She smiles. "Hallo All."
Confused Rookie teh Dave blinks at the new face. "There's. . .a Dungeon here?" He hides further behind the door, fixing his ciggie with a mittened hand before it falls.
Merlin looks at him. "Hmm?" She frowns, and her eyes widen. "Oh, it
Corporal Ari wanders out of the library wing with a yawn
Merlin shoos away a gremlin. "it, isn't really a dungeon. At least, I hope not" she frowns at Bernard.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock was unaware of any dungeon. Suddenly, he's attached to the wall of the trap with iron manacles, wearing only a cloth diaper on an emaciated frame "Oh, the horrors!"
Kestrel grins, and whispers to herself, "a dungeon?" She gives the box a little shake, seemingly by accident as she shifts into a cross-legged position.
Merlin looks down at the G in a cage. "What a nice idea, why didn't we think of sticking him in there earlier." She grins at him.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock sticks his tongue out at Merlin with a wink.
Merlin smiles sweetly. "Keeps you out of trouble this way."
Plush Jokerbot g_rock shrugs, now back in his normal suit "It certainly provides material!"
Kestrel sets the trap carefully on the floor, then gets to work - finally - disentangling herself from the blue string, smiling ruefully.
Merlin looks down at the matter at hand.. er, in the box. "Right, can we get you out of there, G? How do these things work, anyway?"
Plush Jokerbot g_rock shrugs "I dunno. I was trying to get Callia's hand out of it, and wound up in it. Maybe. . .smash it open with a rock?"
Corporal Ari sits on a couch hugging her knees and watching
Kestrel flicks her eyes between them, her forehead creased slightly with confusion. "I don't suppose. . . you could just, um, teleport out of there?"
Spandex volunteers to smash it open with a rock.
Merlin grins at Kestrel. "There is that option."
Plush Jokerbot g_rock shakes his head "That particular ability only seems to work when it's funnier than the alternative. That's why I had to hoof it all the way to your cottage."
Spandex says, "Cover him in grease. Like getting a tight ring off."
Plush Jokerbot g_rock rolls his eyes "Dex, that's your answer to everything."
Kestrel nods in understanding of his words, then holds back a laugh at Spandex's.
Merlin looks back to G. "hrm. well, I suppose we could smash it with a rock. You are a plushie after all. . . shouldn't hurt too much."
Spandex shrugs, "I think we're just going to have to accept that the trap's non-reuseable now and just throw it away."
Spandex picks it up and holds it as far as possible from herself. "grossgrossgross."
Uncle Bernard advises they could use the Joe Pesci memorial vice from the 'Dungeon' to try and 'reverse engineer' the cage
Plush Jokerbot g_rock EEPs
Spandex nods at B, "Got pulleys and a crank?"
Merlin says. "Don't worry G, we'll get you out. we can always sew you back up after, right?"
Kestrel finds herself absentmindedly hammering, and shakes herself a little, looking back to the plush-in-a-box.
Plush Jokerbot g_rock looks at Merlin, eyes watery, lower lip quivering
Plush Jokerbot g_rock is whisked away to the cellar.
Merlin follows, calling after. "Stiff upper lip G! we can do it!"
(back to chapter index)