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Another ghostly encounter, and an offer to escape… (Some Dark Aether)

(Saturday the 22nd)

Arnold had placed the wards around Maddox and Helio’s bed last night at the professors insistance after he’d told them Metier was still at large, trapping him inside but it was meant to protect her from his spirit should he decide to try anything.  After that Erehwon and Arnold had gone pick up the aetheric valve and then Erehwon went to bed though they did run into Dr. Sonnerstein and Tepic first who were quite happy that Erehwon was back to normal and then she went to rest in the Cocoa Java.

Arnold on the other hand had gone with Sonnerstein and a visitor and the good doctor had lost his mind before the canisters they visited.  Arnold had told him it was getting to the point they’d have to restrain him in the asylum’s wagon he’d been working on nearby (though honestly it would have taken him a long time to get it here to the point of infeasibility), but he’d forgotten Sonnerstein’s fear of such places.  They’d had to chase him down and he’d fallen into the sewers, and Arnold thinking he was in trouble and might be unable to swim had jumped in after him. 

It hadn’t been necessary as the Doctor had been able to swim, but a trip to the hospital to change clothes was necessary after that for decontamination.

Saturday morning was rather rushed as Erehwon and he went to encounter Metier at the same time they had before before the sun had risen, and she was still working on her bottle in an attempt to transform it into an entrapment device for Metier with that valve when the apparition confronted them.

“Um, hello,” Erehwon said as she stepped in front of the bottle parts she was still attempting to put together even now.  Admittedly Arnold had thought she’d done it already and would have mentioned it sooner, but it was too late to back track now.

“Hello there,” Metier said, and then turned to look at Arnold, “Coming to show me off then?”

“No sir, just out…enjoying the sights.”  Erehwon said quickly.

Metier chuckled, “Why I never, I should just storm off if you think you can just expect to find me when you want to!”

The apparition just walked away on that note, leaving Arnold and Erehwon slightly flabbergasted once again, and Erehwon looked at Arnold and muttered, “That didn’t go well.”

“No, it didn’t…” Arnold agreed after a moment, “He wasn’t exactly standing still, or close enough, even if you HAD finished the construction.”

Erehwon Yoshikawa knelt down and started quickly reassembling the bottle, wiring the aether valve into its throat, and after a few minutes she nodded, “Okay, ready.  Let’s try this.”

Arnold nodded and they went around the graveyard to the very edge of Miss Bookworms home catching a glimpse of him disappearing around the corner.  They chased him to it and found a small shack of some kind to the side of Bookworms home.

Arnold remembered what Bookworm had told him, that she’d encountered the man and had even shot him.  She’d forgive him a little breaking and entering he figured and they chased him inside…and found him standing next to one of those canister monsters…

“Oh no…”  Arnold said to himself slowly as he looked at the scene before him.  “Well that’s not good.”

“Oh, dear. Mr. Metier, you shouldn’t stand so close to one of those.”  Erehwon said as she stared at him, though she did glance at the strange shape of the canister she couldn’t tell exactly what it looked like just yet.  She was watching to see what would happen next and keeping her bottle at the ready…but so close to one of those canisters would make the results…well she didn’t know and wasn’t sure she wanted to find out.  “You don’t know what will happen.”

Metier laughed at the both of them, “Why, because it will corrupt me?  Or perhaps destroy me?”

Miss Yoshikawa turns to Arnold and whispered, “Maybe it will make him a nice ghost.”  She then turned back to Metier, while still remaining far outside the door.  “Sir, you are in danger of your, um, unlife.”

Metier shook his head, or his hat, and turned to them, “Well, I do have to run, I have things to do!”  He then disappeared through the back of the shed in the opposite direction of the two of them.

“No!  If you’ll just wait there…” Erehwon tried to say, but he’d already gone.

“…I don’t think that he’s going to just wait.” Arnold said, his frustration growing as he shut the door to the shed  before Erehwon could get a better look at the canister to see the ‘monster’ Arnold had spoken of but she’d never seen and now still hadn’t had a chance to.

“Should we try to head him off on the other side?”  Erehwon suggested, and while they did make the attempt it was wasted, he was nowhere to be found.  “Shoot…well were else has he been lurking?”

“The theater he said,” Arnold explained, and they made their way to the Imperial.  There Erehwon got yet another view of the creatures that she had tried to connect to, but this time Arnold and Metier weren’t in the way of her sight, and she was able to use her light to see it better here than in the shed Arnold had closed too quickly.  She didn’t like what she saw at all.

“Goddess… mother…”  Erehwon said as she saw it, it was still dark enough for it to be in it’s monster form.  She hadn’t gotten a good look in the shed, but here she wasn’t distracted by Metier’s glowing form.  “That was what was in the canister?”

“No, that IS the canister.” Arnold informed her.  “That’s what you tried to connect with the other day.”

“Oh, dear,” Erehwon said as she looked back to Arnold, and then at his insistence they both left the Imperial and went discuss it outside.  “Okay, so what does that…thing, have to do with Metier?”

Arnold shrugged, “Possibly nothing, he could have just stared at the thing in curiosity like the rest of us, but I don’t know.”  A thought occurred to Arnold and he looked at her and asked, “Have you read the book?”

“No…I need to,”  Erehwon told him. 

“It mentions the old gods at least once, the ones the Dagonites seem to worship.  I attended one of their meetings just to see,” he informed her.

“Old gods?”  Erehwon said, and then he showed her to the book.  They arrived and she turned to the nearby flying unit and when she found out the flying one worked for Avariel she left a quick message, “Um, Miss Falcon, sorry about the aetheric valve, but it’s for a good cause. I left payment in the office.”  She then turned and read the story, and while she did she paled a little more and then she turned to him, “And this is claimed to be happening in the future?  The near future?”

“Obolensky is alive, so it can’t be too far.  Ten years at the most considering he is very old to begin with, and he is still spry in the story.”

“And that horrid thing in the theater, you are certain that it’s the monster in the book?”  She asked him, but this time he shook his head.

“No, but the smoke coming out of it might be the Dark Aether, or so I think.”

“Arnold…I don’t know what to do about this,”  She confessed.  “I think it would be best if all of you came to Caldeon with me. Possibly further away.”

“I think that would be wise.”  Arnold agreed, though for once his heart wasn’t in it the way he thought it would have been, though his next statement felt more sure.  “Take Dr. Maddox with you soon.” 

“I’ve had quite enough adventure for the moment.”  Erehwon told him.  “I want to sleep in, sip coffee, and practice dancing.  That’s all.  Doctor Obolensky will smash those things, and everyone knows that they should leave them to him.”

Arnold considered her words, but he didn’t say anything in response.  The book had already made it was obvious that Doctor Obolensky on his own wouldn’t be able to handle the situation created if it got that bad all by himself, even if the Doctor would never admit it…Arnold shook his head and tried to forget about it for now.  He still had to talk with Bookworm later at the Piermont dance…then again she probably already knew about the canister…and how do you tell someone a ghost may be coming to haunt her without some form of proof?  Perhaps he should leave that to Dr. Sonnerstein or someone else he had decided when he finally arrived at the dance.

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