I figured my best way through this was just to charge straight in and knock her over; so that's what I did..Or tried to..
Much to my surprise Thistle lightly side-stepped with a grace you only see in some professional dancers..And tapped me with the end of her stick..
So the"Pointy Stick" was actually a cattle prod, I noticed..
Not bad detective work really, considering that now I was on the ground writhing in shock as something like 20,000 volts rushed through my body..
"Over-masculine Idiot" I heard her say to herself, while I gradually stopped shaking, and tried to unclench my rogue muscles..
A shadowy shape looming over me told me that Kismit was probably back on her feet and ready for revenge; and being lifted to a standing position by an unseen force rather roughly let me know Magikman was back and unamused..
Once again my arms were pinned behind me; only this time I felt what seemed to be a pair of handcuffs being tightened around my wrists..
As the jolt subsided I found myself brought face to face again with Kismit..
I expected a smack or two from her, but instead she just rubbed the side of head where I had hit it and looked thoughtful..
"You know" she bagan "The knock on the brain has shaken an idea loose. While I don't condone forum commoners trying to do my job, you just may prove some use to us.."
"Do tell." I stated as confidently as I could, considering my current position..
"Well" she continued "It seems to me, that you might just flush our thief out for us, if we let you go on looking..That and the fact that some people will talk to you when they'd run from us in fear, might just give us an edge.."
"I guess I'd be alright with working with you Mods" I answered..
"Don't presume, Falco" she shot back "You'd be working for us, not with us..We're not equals here."
Could I still get my gun out, I wondered..Instead I said.."I could do that."
What can I say? Goddess types get me all worked up..
"Very well, then..Magikman will remove your restraints in a moment...But first.."
"First?" I wondered aloud..
"A test." She said, with her eyes gleaming with humor"Just to make sure you're resourceful and strong enough to survive working here. Bring him along MM."
With that they turned and we all marched out of the Crypto forest back into the land of Index with it's strange props and assorted weirdness..
I suppose I could have asked where they were taking me, but suprisingly enough, I didn't feel like making small talk..
Besides, I already knew the answer..
Wherever it was wouldn't be good..
On through the porticoed and gardened courtyard we went, recieving curious stares from evewn more curious looking people, until our group stopped at a wall in what seemed to be the very back of the room..
The only adornment on this wall was a large hatch that looked like one of those doors from the airlock to a submarine..You know the kind I mean; the ones with the wheel that opens and closes them..
"Here's your challenge then, Mr. Falco" said Kismit "We're going to release you into the Blogs...If we ever see you again, we'll know you're brave and resourceful enough to continue this case...If not we'll send somebody in with a mop to clean up your remains in 2 days or so.."
She spun the hatch, and the door opened, revealing a cacaphony of the unpleasant noise from the other side..I felt the invisible Magikman unlock and remove my handcuffs..
"Any last questions?" she said..
"Just one" I retorted "Are your breasts swollen?"
"Wouldn't you like to know" She answered with a half-smile..
Then a hard shove from behind sent me tumbling into the blog room..
I heard the hatch slam shut behind me..
I found myself awash in a sea of thought given form.
Whirlwinds of profound philosophy and utter insane ramblings whipped be me, allowing me to catch only the briefest glimpse of thier content..
Screaming, complaining, rationilizing and dreams, all vied for my attention for the short span of seconds before being gone again and replaced with more of the same, but different..
I tried to look around..To see some means of escape; but the constant assault on my mind prevented me from even noticing the details of the room..
I had to focus..
I tried isolating one strain of thought from all the rest and tracing it to it's source..
Itr was too much..Any sane and rational thought in this room was quickly buried in a mound of complete irrelevance..I'd never be able to hold onto one..
I could feel my sanity gradually slipping away..
Slowly I lowered myself to the floor and tried to concentrate hard enough to shut out the sound of a thousand different voices..
Little by little, I forced them to be merely background noise..
As the roar of voices died down by degrees I finally dared to open my eyes..
To be confronted with a strange sight..
"Hey hoss. You gonna sit there on the floor all day? Because somebody told me we had business.." Said someone..
There was a man holding the reins of a donkey not 5 feet away from me; I had no idea how long he'd been there..
"Well?" he queried "We getting on out of here, or not? Snuffs is a busy boy. And it's time for Donkeys' shift to start.."
Ah. I'd found the elusive Snuffypuffer. Or had he found me?
Lifting myself off the floor, I prepared to speak to the Sage of UM..
End of part 8...