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Paste-pot calliaphone emerges from the beach, and looks round. there's her cart! but first things first -- to the kitchens.

Paste-pot calliaphone is here, hunting chocomilk. she pauses on the kitchen threshold, remembering something. she takes a good look round the kitchen, and sniffs the air carefully.

Paste-pot calliaphone frowns. smells like . . . kitchen, really. she briefly wonders what kitchens smell like to kitties and then frowns at herself. focus! gotta stay focused!

Paste-pot calliaphone cocks her head, listening. she hears . . . refrigerator humm and gremlin chitter - which slowly peters out as the gremlins all fall silent, looking at her.

Paste-pot calliaphone keeps very still. this turns out to be Extremely Difficult. suddenly her nose itches and her foot has cramp and she sees a dandelion seed over there which could be a fairy if she could catch it. . .

Paste-pot calliaphone catches herself and Holds Still. After a little while, the gremlins decide she's clearly escaped from an institution, and resume their chitter, ignoring her. Callia permits herself a grin.

Paste-pot calliaphone takes a breath, and tries to remember what Dave said about using stuff around you, and even if it can't see you etc etc. keeping the fridge in her peripheral vision, she advances towards the stove.

Paste-pot calliaphone stesp slowwly, steadily across the tiles. she draws level with the fridge, but does not change her pace. another step. another. one more, still facing the stove. she bends her knees.

Paste-pot calliaphone halts, and in the same moment takes off, into a standing backward handspring, bringing her suddenly level with fridge again. as she rights herself, her hands come up to lift the catch on the door.

Paste-pot calliaphone permits herself a small grin of triumph as the door clicks open. the fridge rocks with the sudden impact.

Paste-pot calliaphone looks up. the grin fades. a large saucepan, precariously balanced atop the fridge, has begun to wobble violently on its perch.

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "uh ohhh" and tries to move, but she's not quick enough. KERLANNNNG. The saucepan lands, up-ended over her, trapping her within.

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "WaaauuughhhhhooohhhhEcho!" and proceeds to test out a variety of imitation bird-calls and rude farty noises, inside the saucepan.

Paste-pot calliaphone could probably keep this up for hours. the gremlins, however, have other ideas. she is noisy, and they are Trying to chitter. A contingent of them hop down and approach the saucepan.

Paste-pot calliaphone tappy-taps the insides of the saucepan with her screwdriver. the sounds are pleasantly percussive. DINGYDINGKLONKLONG The Head Gremlin sighs, and raps sharply on top of the pan.

Paste-pot calliaphone pauses. and then raps back with the hilt of her screwdriver. er, hellohhh-ohhh-ohh?" she ventures. The Head Gremlin chitters back at her, and then signals to the team. They gather round the pan.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten wakes up slowly to the sound of percussive metallic beat from above. She slowly wades over to the bottom of the slide and calls up, "Hello?"

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten's voice calls from the hollowed out stove, "Hello?"

Paste-pot calliaphone says, in sepulchral tones, "is there anybody Ther-er-er?" as the gremlins all catch hold of the edge of the pan, and lift it up.

Paste-pot calliaphone jumps. Was that a delayed echo? She looks at the gremlins. They look at her. She and the gremlins all peeeer inside the pan together. But it's quite empty now. Callia tries again. "Hellohhhh?"

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten's voice calls excitedly, "Hello! Down here!"

Paste-pot calliaphone gasps! Not just an echo, but also coming from the stove! She's throwing her voice! It's a trick she knows from her carnival days, but not well enough to fool even herself. Or so she thought.

Paste-pot calliaphone struts a little. DAMN she's good. If only Dave could see this.

Paste-pot calliaphone notices that the gremlins are looking at her a little oddly. "what?" she says to them. "you're not impressed? i bet you couldn't do it."

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten lets out a little ooph as she slips, bumps her chin on the side and squeaaaks as she slides back down, "Ow..."

Paste-pot calliaphone blinks. "Ow?" She automatically checks herself for damage, then straightens up. And suddenly, light dawns. She stares at the stove. The gremlins roll their eyes. "But I didn't. . .huhhhh."

Paste-pot calliaphone remembers sometihng. Inside the stove -- a room. She advances slowly towards the door, and peers within. "er. . . hello? who's there?"

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten calls up, "Hello there! My name's Cherri! I am Ar- er, Ace's prisoner!"

Paste-pot calliaphone's eyes get wide. The prisoner! She'd completely forgotten Ace had took a prisoner! She says, "wow!" and then "gosh!" and then, "holy shit that is badass!"

Paste-pot calliaphone then remembers her manners. "uhh. hullo Cherri. nice t'meet you. i'm calliaphone." she shoves a hand into the stove, for shaking purposes.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten sees a hand reach down the passage and reaches up for it. She gives up after a moment of trying to shake Calliaphone's hand and sits, "I can't reach. But nice to, er, meet you Calliaphone!"

Paste-pot calliaphone is perplexed. "hmm. you want i should come down there and shake hands with you in the ball-pit? or . . . i could find a rope to . . . wait, aren't there ropes in there?" there's definitely whips.

Paste-pot calliaphone has seen 'em.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten smiles a little at Calliaphone's question, "There are but with no one to catch it and pull me up. . ."

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "oh i see." a moment's pause, and then. "oh! i could catch it!" possibly. but she's more likely to just fall down the chute. she glances around, "or. . . "

Paste-pot calliaphone improvises, "i could tie some strings of onions together, an' lower them down to you. you could tie the rope on and i could haul it back up."

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten giggles quietly under her breath and calls up, "That could work!"

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "alright! Hold Right There!" and she starts rummaging around the kitchen, looking for some twine to tie the onion strings with. she's out of luck, it would seem, but then she has idea.

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "jus' getting something. be right back." and zooms out of the kitchen, towards the courtyard. and her cart.

Paste-pot calliaphone returns, in a big old hurry, and dives into the back of her cart. a few minutes of clattering, and she jumps down with her bucket. she scampers back to the kitchen.

Paste-pot calliaphone zooms back in, with her bucket-full-of-tools. she digdigs, and finds a rubber duck, two dinosaurs, a soldering iron, and, aha! some bits of wood and a rivet gun.

Paste-pot calliaphone sits down at the kitchen table, and gets to work, happily riveting slim batons of wood to onions, and joining them up so they connect the onion-strings together.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten listens to the commotion up in the kitchen and thinks of something, "Uhm Ace won't be mad if you help me, will she?"

Paste-pot calliaphone pauses, eyes watering. she sniiffs, and falters. "ohh. uh." she never thought of that. "i never thought of that. she might. 'cause y'know . . . she's Badass!"

Paste-pot calliaphone has an idea! "i could help you anyway, an' you could go an' play an' stuff . . . but then sneak back in here and pretend you hadn't got out? y'know like in Rapunzel!"

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten bites her lip and looks up, "Well, I uh, wouldn't want to get you into trouble. . ."

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten nods to herself, "That's a fantastic idea!"

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "also, i'm badass too!" oh shame upon you callia, untruthful one. "and evil villains have to double-cross each other. it's the Law!"

Paste-pot calliaphone has never before shown a lot of respect for The Law. in fact, the magistrate and the truancy officers always said that was Her Whole Problem. But now she's a Villain - everything's different!

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten's laugh echoes up the slide, "Touche! I will keep your assistance a secret!"

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "alright! i'm nearly done here. don't have a panic attack or anything, we'll have you outta there in no time!" she resumes riveting, and sniffling over the onions.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten nods, hoping that Calliaphone will hear the rattling of her brain inside her head, and wades back into the ball pit to find some rope.

Paste-pot calliaphone pushes her chair back from the table, dragging a sleeve across her eyes. she boggles. that has got to be the world's longest EVER onion string. it could go down in history!

Paste-pot calliaphone starts dragging the onion string across towards the disused stove. when she gets it there, she sets to work, feeding it carefully in through the door and down the chute.

Paste-pot calliaphone feeds the onions down a bit at a time, slowly now - don't want to dislodge any rivets. "you seeing it yet?" she hollers.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten sees the tip of the onion rope creep down and calls excitedly, "Yes! Yes I do!" She brings the rope over and frowns as she tries to figure out out to attach them. She rushes over to her pack.

Paste-pot calliaphone waits patiently. no she doesn't. she bounces with excitement. "have you tied it on yet quick quick tell me when you've tied it on have you done it yet how about now?"

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten pulls out a small container of sand and pulls it out, grabbing a handful before replacing it. She moves back over to the rope and onion rope and holds the ends in her hand.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten giggles, her eyes glowing green as the sand melts and coats the two ends, creating a glass link. She lets out a triumphant noise and calls up, "All done!"

Paste-pot calliaphone says, "okay, i'll pull it up." and with uncharacteristic care, she does so, bit by bit, trying to avoid joggling any of the fragile links to the point of breaking.

Paste-pot calliaphone pulls, hand over hand. behind her, a wavering string of onions extends like a crane across the kitchen. but she has eyes only for the chute, waiting, watching for the rope-end to appear.

Paste-pot calliaphone sees it! she catches her breath, and carefully extends a hand. it closes over rope. there's a little tink as the glass link shatters. callia blinks. and then she grins. "GOTTIT!"

Paste-pot calliaphone lets go of the onions. they topple onto the kitchen tiles. the impact breaks not only the rivet-links, but the brittle weaving between them. onions roll all over the floor.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten grins, "Great. Now if you just attach it to something up there, I'll climb up!"

Paste-pot calliaphone doesn't notice! she is pulling the rope up the chute, quickly now. as soon as she's got enough slack, she looks round for something to fasten it to. aha -- cast-iron stoves are good'n'heavy.

Paste-pot calliaphone doesn't notice the onions, that is. she hears Cherri all right. "yup yup!" she says, tying an interesting knot of her own invention that would make a sailor weep. but. it will definitely hold.

Paste-pot calliaphone gives the loose end a tug. "okay, all secure this end." and she lets the slack fall down into the chute.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten slowly climbs the chute, letting out a soft grunt every once in a while when she slips. Her head suddenly pops up and she smiles brilliantly, "Oh sweet freedom!"

Paste-pot calliaphone steps back, beaming. and then suddenly her grin turns to alarm as she treads on an onion. "hellooauuuughhhhh" she skids across the floor and lands in a heap -- back by the fridge again.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten clambers up quickly and rushes over to Calliaphone, "Oh dear, are you okay?!" She sends a fierce glare to the onions.

Paste-pot calliaphone nodnods. "sure, i've had loads worse." frequently. she gets up, and kicks an onion stovewards. it goes in. "GOAL! ONE NIL ONE NIL!" she grins at Cherri. "yup, i'm good. welcome out!"

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten eyes the onion that goes down the chute, "Mmm onions and cookies"

Paste-pot calliaphone looks dubious about that. she has Views about Vegetables. but the mention of cookies reminds her. . . she's hungry! she tackles the fridge and wrestles it open, thankfully without counterattack.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten peeks over Callia's shoulder and quickly ducks as a chunk of fourth wall flies out at her.

Maddeningly Cherriki Ten looks at Callia, wide eyed, "Terribly sorry, gotta ruuuun away!" She tears off.

Paste-pot calliaphone also ducks, into the fridge. she glances back at Cherri, and tsktsks. such tragic irony, to gain her freedom only to be taken out by the wall. but . . . chocomilks!

Paste-pot calliaphone emerges from the fridge, with chocomilk, to see that Cherri has scarpered, after all. she grins. that's a much better ending!\

Paste-pot calliaphone slrrrps on her beverage of choice, and then delves back into the fridge for something solid to go with it. she wrinkles her nose at the fruit bowl. fruit's alright but she needs. . .aha!

Paste-pot calliaphone has found cold roast potatoes! and strips of some kinda chargrilled meat that might be chicken. or . . . well, anything really. she doesn't mind. she munches happily.

Paste-pot calliaphone knocks back a bit more chocomilk, then wipes her mouth on her sleeve and lets the fridge door fall closed behind her. she gives a contented sigh. and picks up her bucket.

Paste-pot calliaphone skates across the kitchen on a surface-slick of onions. as soon as she's on terra firma again, she breaks into a scamper. places to be, people to go, something something. she's gone.

Paste-pot calliaphone races out of the kitchen again, and leaps into the driving seat of her cart. slinging the bucket into the back, she engages the gears and starts pedalling. she's gotta be somewhere, gotta move!

Paste-pot calliaphone and cart vanish through the castle gates, and out into the jungle.

Back to the Beginning
Chapter 5
GERM Villainy

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