Christina decided that she was going to take Beatty, Sam and Jasmin on a little girls’ weekend. That left us guys to our own devices. You can imagine how well that went.
Everything started quietly. We spent the evening hanging out, drinking and generally unwinding at Callahan’s. We left at closing and started for home. Before we got far, a portal opened up, a slide appeared and three ladies, who shall for now and for evermore be known as the Power Puff Girls, appeared. They claimed to be some sort or interdimensional cops looking for a serial killer. That was all well and good, but they then detected our devices, said they were illegal and demanded that we hand them over. Guess what happened next. Once the shooting was done, the Power Puff Girls bamfed out and we continued on our merry way.
We made it about a block. A new chick, dressed in a hoody and talking like Jar Jar Bink’s long lost sister, comes up to us and says she’s looking for me. She tells us this story about world’s colliding and billions dying and how we only had six hours to stop it. We gathered up our gear and met back at my place to talk it over, but before we could do much talking, the girl, who we learned was named Ellie, pulled out a matrix and teleported us, and a hefty chunk of my and Corey’s apartment, to another world. So much for the security deposit.
Part of Ellie’s story involved talking to Merlin, so when we landed in the woods, we assumed that we were in some alternate of medieval England. Close but no cigar. Once we went exploring, we found a suspiciously modern looking road made out of the same metal as the Fringe Paths. We followed it, and found a little town. We hadn’t been there long, when we discovered that fringe travelers were considered something akin to royalty here. The locals started calling us Lord, and falling all over themselves to help us.
We got a chauffeured lift to the next biggest city, called Tintangale. That was where the king lived, and when we met King Mark, he said we were to be his guests. That sounded pretty good to us, so we stuck around for a while. I turns out that Ellie’s not particularly good with the whole time concept, and she might have gotten that six hour time limit messed up.
While enjoying the King’s hospitality, we learned some important things. First, even though it looked like a storybook version of merry old England, this world was pretty high tech. What looked and acted like magic, was really some very advanced nanotech. Instead of weapons or armor, the local royalty used something they called the cloud. These were swarms of nanobots that could form into weapons, shields or just about anything else you needed. They even gave each of us a set. The second thing we learned is that the dominant religion was Christian Science. It’s not the kind you read about in the Christian Science Monitor, though. Here, they worship science. The scientific method and Occam’s razor are like gospel to them. It’s my kind of place.
The third thing we learned is that there was some type of spreading destructive force spreading over the land, consuming anything and anybody that it came in contact with. It reminds me of the Nothing in the Neverending Story. Some of us think it might be something going wrong with one of the Fringe portals, that’s causing this world to be swallowed by another. We’re not sure, but if somebody, i.e. us, doesn’t do something soon, there’s going to be nothing left.
We were contemplating all this when, King Mark asked us to accompany his queen, Isolt, to Londinium. That’s where we were headed anyway, so we agreed. We traveled by sea on this dinky wooden boat. Why people with super science nanotech would want to do that, I don’t know. Maybe it’s like their equivalent of camping. Anyway, we got to talking to Queen Isolt, and she had quite a lot to say about her husband. He was pretty nice to us, but actually, he was another one of those tin plated little dictators, bent on oppressing the peasantry. He was playing fast and loose with the local laws to keep himself in power.
Right before we left, the King gave Pete a bottle of wine and asked him to present it to King Arthur. He said it was a powerful love potion that would make Guinevere fall in love with him. The story falls apart on a couple of counts. First, why does Arthur need Guinevere to fall in love with him? Aren’t they already in love? Second, why does Mark care so much about Arthur’s love life? From everything we’ve heard, they aren’t too fond of each other. Third, why send his queen, just to deliver a bottle of wine. We think the whole thing is some sort of plot to get a war started with Arthur. If Arthur were to drink the potion and fall in love with Isolt instead of Guinevere that would certainly be a pretext for war.
Oh, and did I mention the mellors? While we were discussing the ins and outs of Arthurian intrigue, John sniffed out that the queen’s old handmaiden was a mellor. Having been revealed, she attacked us. We did pretty quick work of her, but it turned out that pretty much everyone on board, except us, was a mellor. The next thing we know, we’re facing an endless sea of ravenous jaws. The only one who wasn’t a mellor, was our old buddy Volstagg. I don’t know what he was doing on board, but I do know I was grateful for the help.
It was a Hell of a fight, but eventually, we managed to kill the last of them and save the queen. We made it to Londinium, and now we’re trying to get the lay of the land and figure out what to do next. We were hoping to find Merlin here, but he’s traveling elsewhere, so we have to come up with plan B. In the meantime, I want to explore and see if I can get myself some more of those cloud gizmos.