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Chapter 6 - of Carts and Toilets

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At the Bingo Hall

2010-02-10 00:24:07: calliaphone stumbles out of her room and is passing the 3rd floor loos (yup, the same ones she fixed up - them as like to play a bit of Water Music when you pull the Handel), when. . .

2010-02-10 00:24:50: calliaphone notices her boots are splashing through a stream of running water. Which is issuing from under the toilet door. Frowning, she goes to investigate.

2010-02-10 00:26:13: calliaphone peers into the toilets. the whole place is awash. And what is that peculiar noise? That's not the Water Music! Something's going very wrong here.

2010-02-10 00:27:22: calliaphone goes in to have a heart-to-heart with the toilets. She can hardly leave them in this state.

2010-02-10 00:29:29: Accomplice Teh Dave hears something from upstairs and abandons the remains of his sandwich to go investigate. He winds his way through the halls until he finds a trail of water.

2010-02-10 00:30:26: Merlin steps out of her room, dirt-free at last. "I just don't know how Jon can stand it. . ." She halts, and listens. . . Something's playing music? She follows the sound.

2010-02-10 00:31:47: Accomplice Teh Dave tiptoes around the water as he follows the sounds, trying to keep his feet dry. He finds the open door to the third floor toilets and peers in curiously. "Er. . .what's going on?"

2010-02-10 00:31:48: Merlin bounds up the stairs and toward an increasingly dampening hallway. She spies Dave and hurries to catch up.

2010-02-10 00:34:04: calliaphone looks round at the sound of voices. She is kneeling on the floor, next to a flooded toilet. And is pretty much soaked from head to toe. Which makes it hard to notice the tears. "Oh, hi Dave."

2010-02-10 00:35:04: Merlin peeks out from behind Dave. "Plumbing troubles?" she asks.

2010-02-10 00:35:13: Accomplice Teh Dave tilts his head to calli. "Hey Calli. . .er. . .you're soaked. . ."

2010-02-10 00:36:12: Accomplice Teh Dave 's hat waves its feather to Merlin, then peers at the flooding toilet. Dave, for his part, steps through carefully, then gives up trying to stay dry and saunters up to calli. "Need a hand?"

2010-02-10 00:36:51: calliaphone sees Merlin. "Hi Merlin." sniff. "Huhh? I'm what?" she looks at herself. "Oh yeah." sniifff.

2010-02-10 00:38:22: Accomplice Teh Dave frowns slightly at the sniffling and strides up to calli, looking worried. "Y'alright?

2010-02-10 00:38:42: Merlin nods to Dave's hat and wades across the floor to the other two.

2010-02-10 00:39:59: calliaphone nods at Merlin's diagnosis. And then shrugs sadly at Dave. "I dunno'as there's much can be done. They're not happy. That's all I can really make out. They're not talking to me at all." sniifff.

2010-02-10 00:42:12: Merlin nods slowly. "I never knew it could play anything other than Handel." She listens "Though why it decided to play Verdi's Anvil chorus in a minor key. . . That's just odd."

2010-02-10 00:42:30: Accomplice Teh Dave bends over the toilet, ear twitching. He has no idea what the toilet would be saying, but clearly it's not saying it to him, either. "Er. . .I'm afraid I'm useless with plumbing. . ."

2010-02-10 00:43:28: Accomplice Teh Dave raises an eyebrow to Merlin. "Did what?" Clearly, he's not very well-versed in classical music. Just good 'ol Classic Rock from the late 20th and early 21st century.

2010-02-10 00:44:21: calliaphone drags a soaking sleeve across her nose, and looks up at Merlin. "huhh? you know the tune? Well, i s'ppose that's something! At least it's still holding a tune of some kind."

2010-02-10 00:45:37: Accomplice Teh Dave nodnods to calli. "Yep. Music's musical still. . .that's what you made 'em do, right?" Right. That sentence makes perfect sense. Damn KittyMush brain. . .

2010-02-10 00:46:19: calliaphone doesn't look much comforted by this thought, however. The toilet continues its mournful refrain and callia sniiiffs again. "Verdi. Anvil Chorus? What kind of a tune's that for a toilet, I ask you?"

2010-02-10 00:46:23: Merlin 's childhood training takes over. "Verdi's Anvil chorus, otherwise known as Coro di zingari which is Italian for "Gypsy Chorus". In which Gypsys sing in praise of hard work, good wine, and women."

2010-02-10 00:47:16: Merlin Shakes her head. "Sorry about that. . ." she looks down at Callia. " Not a good tune at all for a toilet. . .. especially not when they are playing it much too slowly. . ."

2010-02-10 00:47:35: Accomplice Teh Dave looks back and forth between the two, clearly lost. "Er. . .hard work. . .good wine. . .women. . .toilets?" His eyes cross as he tries to make the connection. "No idea. . ."

2010-02-10 00:47:46: calliaphone blinks at this. "really? so what's with the anvil business then?"

2010-02-10 00:50:33: Merlin thinks for a second. " If I recall, in Verdi's opera, the Gypsies were striking their anvils while they sing." She looks around at the soggy bathroom. "Really, Water music was much better. . ."

2010-02-10 00:52:11: calliaphone nods in gloomy agreement. She stares at the toilet for a moment, then gently lowers the lid. "I guess whatever's troubling it, it doesn't wanna tell me about it."

2010-02-10 00:53:23: calliaphone doesn't quite manage to hide the look of deep hurt that accompanies this thought. But she makes a brave attempt, and switches on a weak grin for her clanmates. "Nevermind, eh?" she gets up.

2010-02-10 00:53:41: Accomplice Teh Dave 's eyes glaze over at all the music talk. He's still trying to figure out what Anvils have to do with Loos. . .And getting wetter by the moment.

2010-02-10 00:56:01: Merlin steps back a pace and looks out into the hall. "Well, Is there any chance of stopping the leak. . . We might have a waterfall down the stairs in a couple minutes."

2010-02-10 00:58:03: calliaphone looks utterly miserable, and shakes her head. "not without switching off the water," she says. "and i'd hate to have to do that to them, while they're in that state."

2010-02-10 01:00:52: Accomplice Teh Dave scratches his head. "Maybe just lower the flow? Or keep the flushers going?" He seems at a loss. Plumbing is not his thing, mind.

2010-02-10 01:02:16: Merlin only knows about one set of pipes, and she's not sure bagpiping will help in this instance. " Nothing you can do, Callia?"

2010-02-10 01:03:21: calliaphone heaves a sigh. "i just don't want to stress them more than they already are. mebbe. . ." she tails off thinking, then has an idea. "hangon." she heads out, aquaplaning down the corridor.

2010-02-10 01:04:52: Accomplice Teh Dave turns to watch calli run off, and raises an eyebrow to Merlin. "I. . .have no clue. . . Who's Verdi?"

2010-02-10 01:05:09: calliaphone returns a few minutes later, her arms full of Stuff. Specifically, undergarments. Of the old man's longjohns variety. And boxes of all-bran.

2010-02-10 01:05:28: Merlin looks over to Dave, who is just as soaked as she is. "So. . . How are you?"

2010-02-10 01:06:16: calliaphone hands out the boxes and the undergarments to Dave and Merlin. "Open the packets and fill the longjohns with bran. Tie 'em at both ends, and it'll be better than sandbags."

2010-02-10 01:06:42: Merlin responds. 'Oh Verdi was a composer. Italian, of course. He liked to write operas." Her attention turns back to Callia. interesting. . .

2010-02-10 01:08:27: Merlin does as she's told. "Em.. are these granpa bernard's?"

2010-02-10 01:09:15: Accomplice Teh Dave blinks at calli's confusing instructions and starts following them confusedly. He blinks at Merlin. "Oh, er. . .Aside from missing a lot of what's going on here, fairly well." He finishes one pair.

2010-02-10 01:09:29: calliaphone gets to work with another set of undergarments. The laundry label has been stencilled with a name . . . Granpa B, Bingo Hall, II.

2010-02-10 01:09:45: Accomplice Teh Dave decides he doesn't want to know whose they are, as long as they're clean. Or at least not too unclean.

2010-02-10 01:10:22: calliaphone hides the label and shakes her head at Merlin. "Nooo, i'd never nick his knickers, he'd kick up a terrible stink."

2010-02-10 01:11:40: Merlin goes back to stuffing, "Ah well. . . He'd never notice, what with the state he's in at the moment." she holds out a finished sandbag. "Where shall I put it?"

2010-02-10 01:12:31: Accomplice Teh Dave agrees with Merlin. "Yeah, where do they go? And I hope he wouldn't kick Sink. . .that'd be mean. Although Sink might deserve it so. . ."

2010-02-10 01:13:19: calliaphone drags her own finished sandbag to the door, beckoning Dave and Merlin to follow. "We'll jam them against the outside of the door, and stick up a sign - buy me some time to figure out what's wrong."

2010-02-10 01:13:47: Merlin follows, sloshing her way out into the corridor.

2010-02-10 01:15:35: Accomplice Teh Dave nodnods, wading through the bathroom until he gets just outside. He looks up and down the hall at the soaked floor. "Mountjoy'll not be happy. . .that is, if he's not out spying or whatever. . ."

2010-02-10 01:17:42: calliaphone tugs the door shut behind them, and starts jamming the sandbags into place. The maudlin strains continue, from within, and callia sniiiffs once more.

2010-02-10 01:18:36: Merlin agrees. " Yes, we might want to clean up a bit after. . . just to save us from his wrath. . ." she snorts at this, "No it's fine. . . Gives him something to do." she add her sandbag to the pile.

2010-02-10 01:19:08: calliaphone reaches into her pocket and pulls out the sign she used last time she did work with these loos. OUT OF SORTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE USE OTHER LOOS.

2010-02-10 01:19:43: Accomplice Teh Dave hands calli his own bran-johns. . .er. . .sandbag. "True. So, er. . .no idea why they started this?" He scratches his head, still confused.

2010-02-10 01:22:28: calliaphone shakes her head, looking dismal. "They were fine. I thought they were, anyway. We did good work together last time, and they were doing so well, and now . . . they won't talk at all."

2010-02-10 01:23:38: calliaphone hangs up the sign, and turns round with a sigh. "I suppose that's the best I can do for them, for now." her voice wavers, then steadies. "Thanks for helping." she looks a bit lost.

2010-02-10 01:23:55: Accomplice Teh Dave nods, tilting his head. "And nattering about Anvils now?"

2010-02-10 01:24:21: Merlin says. "Sometimes it takes time for people to talk. . . I er.. suppose it goes for the pipeworks too?"

2010-02-10 01:25:09: Accomplice Teh Dave nods to Merlin. "Yeah. . .just have to give them time? Maybe they're not even sure?"

2010-02-10 01:25:26: calliaphone shrugs. "I really don't know. If they don't trust me enough to talk it out. . ." she sighs again. "Mebbe it's me. Mebbe I should just take a walk, get some air an' that."

2010-02-10 01:28:24: Merlin 's feet squelch toward the stairway. "That might be a good idea. Fresh air helps one think." she looks back at Callia. "Don't worry, you'll think of something."

2010-02-10 01:28:40: Accomplice Teh Dave nods. "Step away from it for a moment, come back with a fresh head?" He means this metaphorically, of course. Truly fresh heads are hard to come by.

2010-02-10 01:28:53: Spandex tears in, waving, grabs something (nevermind) and gallops out.

2010-02-10 01:29:06: calliaphone gives a glum nod, and follows Merlin towards the stairs, and thence into the main hall.

2010-02-10 01:30:01: Accomplice Teh Dave follows behind, tail swishing thoughtfully. And drippingly.

2010-02-10 01:31:51: Accomplice Teh Dave hears a Spandex and his ears perk, but by the time he gets to the main hall, she's already come and gone. He shrugs, then turns to give calli a quick friendly hug. "Get some air, you'll be fine."

2010-02-10 01:32:52: calliaphone returns the hug, then drips sadly into the main hall. She grabs her cart and heads off to take Darren to the beach. He needs the exercise, after all. And he can hunt for his dinner too.

2010-02-10 01:33:31: calliaphone 's cart gives an awkward little shimmy as they reach the stairs, and looks like it might refuse them. She turns round and gives it an anguished look, and it settles down uneasily, and follows her out

2010-02-10 01:34:42: Merlin watches Callia go, and then heads toward her room, leaving a small trail of puddles in her wake.

2010-02-10 01:34:56: Accomplice Teh Dave spots the cart trouble and raises an eyebrow. "The hell?"" He scratches his head confusedly.

In New Home

2010-02-10 13:33:21: calliaphone trudges into New Home, glancing round periodically at her cart, which she is tugging behind her. It doesn't seem to be running quite right, and every now and then gives an unhappy shimmy-and-tilt.

2010-02-10 13:34:33: calliaphone pulls the cart over to one side, and crouches down to take another look at the axle. She looks ruefully at her left index finger, which shows a vivid purple mark - as if it's been pinched sharply.

2010-02-10 13:43:52: calliaphone uses her right hand this time, to reach in and check things out. She chatters softly . . . to herself, surely. Gently, she wiggles the nearside kingpin and track-rod a bit.

2010-02-10 13:45:00: calliaphone yelps as the trackrod shifts suddenly, pinching her finger hard. "Owww! Again? That's uncalled for!" The cart does not reply. Well, really. It's only a cart for goodness sake.

2010-02-10 13:46:31: calliaphone examines the finger, muttering a bit. Then she whisks the little screwdriver from behind her ear and reaches in to tighten up the steering. But it doesn't seem to want to tighten.

2010-02-10 13:51:01: calliaphone slips with the screwdriver, skinning her knuckles on the steering arm. `"Owww! What the. . .?" She pulls her hand back, and looks indignantly at the cart. Then she softens.

2010-02-10 13:51:53: calliaphone says, apparently to the cart, "In a mood, huh? Well, ok. I get that. We all have off days. C'mon, let's walk. An' you know . . . anything you wanna talk about, I'm all ears. . ."

2010-02-10 13:53:44: calliaphone heads out into the jungle, tugging the cart behind her.

New Pittsburgh

2010-02-12 11:18:49: calliaphone pulls her cart into town, struggling a little as it shimmies and wobbles awkwardly. She frowns, struggling to keep it upright as she heads towards Mike's.

2010-02-12 11:19:53: calliaphone tugs the cart inside the chop-shop and bargains with Mike/Michelle, producing a jar of pickled brains she got from [don't ask]. Michelle demurs a bit, but then clears a space for Callia to work.

2010-02-12 11:22:42: calliaphone gets to work in the chop-shop, trying not to think about the significance of that name in this outpost. She focuses on giving the cart a proper overhaul. One of the wheels is buckled, so. . .

2010-02-12 11:23:00: calliaphone hammers that out first, and replaces it. Then she tightens the steering, replaces the rear shocks, and adjusts the suspension a bit.

2010-02-12 11:23:15: calliaphone finally checks all the wheels are bolted on solidly, and stands back. Good Job! Now to get out of this abbatoir.

2010-02-12 11:24:24: calliaphone thanks Michelle, and heads out into the sunlight with her cart. It runs beautifully - at first. But as they disappear into the jungle, it wobbles a little, and quietly shucks a wheelnut.

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