Matt's Personal Log - Episode 44
I think I’ve figured something out about myself – I gotta be related to Alice Liddel, the one of Wonderland fame. That’s the only ‘logical’ explanation that I can arrive at to explain the constant stream of insane circumstances I keep finding myself in.
We’d made it back to the Starlight via Thanos’s pop-rock where Alyr was sporting some brand new bling – a nice shiny cybernetic spider had imbedded itself in his skull. He didn’t know where it had come from, and the entire time we’d been struggling through the labyrinth he and his crew had been trying to figure out what it was and how to get the thing outta him. Next thing that happens, whoever (or whatever) is in charge of the cube broadcasts something along the lines of escape not being an option, and something else about assimilation, and then we find ourselves back in the labyrinth – this time with Alyr’s entire crew as well. Only good thing to come of it was that Alyr’s new ‘pet’ spider was no longer with us. So, after getting Alyr and his guys up to speed with what we’d tried the first time through, and getting them to realize that we were all probably going to die, an idea occurred to me.
After checking, Thanos was able to use his pop-rock to get us all back to the room that we had left off at on our first foray, the one at the edge of the maze. The idea was that we could try to climb over to the umbilical that we’d seen, either by a horizontal traverse (not the best idea) or by climbing up to the top and walking over to a point above the umbilical, and then scaling down to it (also not a good idea). Alyr took a look outside and informed us that the environmentally stable area outside the room had shrunk down to about a foot distance off the surface of the maze (significantly smaller than when I had checked, as I wasn’t even aware that had been a possibility!). Being a Furian, he went outside to check things out a little more (apparently Furians can survive for short periods in a vaccuum, comfort notwithstanding).
He was outside only a short while when the rest of us were knocked off our feet; the room we were in was moving, at extreme speed to judge by the tunnel we could see zipping away through the open portal. The maze must have some form of inertial dampeners or we’d have all been paste on the walls – as it was, the sudden speed killed two of Alyr’s crew from snapped necks as they slammed into the wall. Through the portal I then saw the distant speck of what soom proved to be Alyr trying to catch up to us. We eventually came to a halt, giving him a chance to catch up, but then the light behind him was blotted out – another room of the maze was entering the tunnel to take its assigned spot next to the one we were in. It was moving faster than Alyr, so I expected to see bits of him squeezed through the open portal like ketchup squeezed from a tube, but he was close enough to escape, though he did suffer some scrapes and bruises.
Now, instead of the edge, we were likely somewhere deep in the bowels of the maze – a certain death sentence. More debate ensued which eventually led us to attempt calling Baleer via Thanos’s ‘magic’ communicator (I’ll never admit it, but Thanos’s presence is absolutely the reason I’m still around to write this log – his toys have been vital to anyone’s continued survival so far).
Thanos called Baleer and we soon found ourselves in what Baleer called his sauna. (Some of the crew likened Baleer to the Q, which is apparently a race of beings with some extreme capabilities). Baleer seemed familiar with the maze we found ourselves trying to navigate, but professed that he wouldn’t interfere with ‘her’ on our behalf. He did offer us a different out however, one dealing with Karr’s past. Karr was ambivalent about the prospect, but Alyr was all for it. I was leaning in that direction myself, and was about to say as much when Baleer struck Inara – not hard really, more like a pluck, but at that moment I had had enough. In hindsight it may have been an overreaction, but I shot the asshole. His head was blown clean off and then we were back in the maze. Thanos was laughing (so was I), but Alyr was a mite ticked off.
More debate ensued and we arrived at the key to the maze – numerology! Of course! Why hadn’t it occurred to me before? Because I don’t tend to think of imaginary solutions to substantially real problems, but hey, when in an insane situation, why not go for the insane solution! (Remember, I’ve only just realized my familial ties to Ms. Liddle.)
So, we follow our new pattern, stumbling once or twice into traps, including one that led to a short but violent altercation with a few Impies that had been wandering through the maze on their own. Eventually we arrived at the umbilical, which led to one last room. This contained a single door out (other than the passage we had entered by) and a table, upon which was a bottle with a label stating ‘Drink Me’. (Shades of Alice again!) Alyr beat me to it, but we both drank and then headed through the door, behind which was a staircase leading up. We headed up, but some of us had a bad reaction to whatever it was in the bottle, including Inara (again), Nox, and to a smaller extent, Alyr.
A long climb later, we arrived at another room, one with no visible exit and a sole occupant, a lady in a white gown. She asked for the access code; we tried Karr’s birthdate and a few other strings but nothing was working. This time it was Alyr that took the shot (see, it isn’t only me that gets frustrated, it’s just that I’m the only one that’ll actually tell anyone about it). The woman gets hit and drops, and then Karr’s charges forward to the fallen body. He’s cradling the woman in his arms and looking like someone just drank his last bottle of bloodwine.
The woman is Karr’s dead mother – dead from before, not Alyr’s (very) recent shot. Then she stirred in Karr’s arms – I don’t know if Alyr’s losing his skill or if it could be chalked up to sheer weariness on his part, but he didn’t kill her. ‘Course I saw Thanos shoot Karr in the head at point blank range and Karr survived, so it might just be his family’s trait of being so damned hard to kill. Whatever. Karr just started smiling like he’d remembered his hidden stash of bloodwine.
Me? I’m checking the corners for the grin that’ll announce the arrival of the effing Cat.