Lords of Being
Our adventure begins with an anomaly. A glitch. A clogged path from the left side (order). The Lords (and Ladies, though gender is more a matter of choice for a being that's wearing a glamour than anything else) can sense the glitch from just about anywhere in the world and unplug it. Usually…
Our story opens with Zabeth, who is in Paris. She, like all of the Lords of Being, can sense a clog anywhere in the world. But it's on the "other" side, which means that while she can unclog it, it's going to hurt. Perhaps if she ignores it for a bit, one of the others will deal with it… Oh bother. They're not. Zabeth pushes to unclog the path… and nothing happens.
Meanwhile, like Zabeth, Mr. Glass can feel the anomaly. But he can also sense its direction from him. He taps into Google to look for users who are posting queries about anomalies, and gets a correlation. The queries lead him to Iowa. Bugtussle, Iowa. Further queries lead him to the realization that it's raining frogs in Bugtussle, Iowa.
With a sigh, Mr. Glass puts down the journal he was reading and zaps to Silicon Valley. He goes outside and then adjusts his watch. Suddenly time is stopped. Or moving very, very slowly for everyone and everything except Mr. Glass, who starts running towards Iowa.
In Las Vegas, Claude Neon can also feel the anomaly. He walks out to the balcony of his apartment and looks east into the night sky. And then starts rising, drifting eastward.
Mr. Hellgrammite is one of the Lords of Being, currently in residence in Denver. He can feel the clog, but unfortunately the Lords of Being don't get any direction. He also taps into Google, and comes up with the same correlation as Mr. Glass. Mr. Hellgrammite sends an IM to Loois asking who's nearest to Iowa. Loois responds. "Answer the phone".
The phone rings. Mr. Hellgrammite picks up the phone, and there's a Bang! In a suddenly empty apartment. Mr. Hellgrammite is in Bermuda with Loois and Zabeth, who says, "It's the left side."
Mr. Hellgrammite replies, "It's in Iowa."
In Iowa, Mr. Glass stops running and adjusts his watch again. Time resumes its normal pace. It's taken him three days to get to Iowa, running without stop. Before him, frogs are falling out of the sky. Most seem a little shaken, but otherwise OK.
Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he picks one of the numbers he was given as a contact. These people are supposed to be able to correct these kinds of things. After the third ring, a voice answers, "Ansen's Spaniels".
"You aren't by any chance anywhere near Iowa? Or know anything about anomalies? Clogged paths?"
"Clogged paths ring a bell. Why did you call me?"
"I'm no good at unclogging drains."
"I am good at that, but I'm not there."
"Hold on a second." Mr. Glass bumps the button to call the second number he was given as a contact.
Back in Bermuda, Mr. Hellgrammite notices that his phone back in Denver is ringing. "Loois, my phone at home is ringing. It's *that* number."
Loois hands him a phone, saying "It's for you."
With a Bang! Mr. Hellgrammite is returned to his apartment in Denver. He picks up the phone. "Hello?"
An unfamiliar voice replies, "Frogs seem to have fallen into my path and blocked it."
"You're not one of my usual contacts."
"You number came up in an online search. Can you unclog paths?"
"Can you hold? I've got someone else who may be able to unclog paths on the other line."
"Can you patch us together?"
"Mr. Hellgrammite? I have a Miss Ansen on the line…"
While Miss Ansen and Mr. Hellgrammite know each other, they don't know who this 3rd party is. And they know all of the Lords of Being on Earth. And on the other plants in the local solar system, for that matter. But the clog is more important that that little mystery for the moment…
Mr. Hellgrammite tells Miss Ansen, "The clog is in Bugtussle Iowa." Then he continues and asks Glass, "Excuse, me sir, are you near a pay phone?"
Glass responds, "Why do I need a pay phone? I've got my phone. If you look at the caller ID, the number you're seeing will work. For now. Why?"
Hellgrammite replies, "I'm going to hang up and give my contact your number. We should be there shortly."
Back in Bermuda, Loois and Zabeth try to combine forces to unclog the Left Hand Pipe. "One, two, three!" And nothing happens.
A "Ping!" from his computer alerts Loois to an email from Cadmus Clisk asking why nothing has happened. He's also unable to clear the blockage and wonders if he's interfering. Clisk closes by asking for any available information and a quick response.
Back in Iowa, Mr. Glass' phone beeps to note that it's found a message that match the assigned criteria. In fact, it's the email from Cadmus Clisk to Loois. He traces the message to its destination, and matches that to the call Mr. Hellgrammite is making from Denver. He has his phone break into the call. "Loois? It's Glass here. There are frogs falling in Bugtussle, Iowa and it seems to be blocking the paths. Or something."
Zabeth is not amused. "Who are you and why are you calling us?"
Mr. Glass responds evenly, "I'm Silvester Glass. We were told that you folks could help with these things. It's been a very long time since there was an hour long frog fa... Ugh." Glass spits out a frog.
Zabeth grins, "Don't look up while you're speaking." She cracks into a spy satellite to see where the frogs are coming from. A video chat opens showing the satellite view. The chat window says the other view is coming from "Glass."
Mr. Glass starts rising through the air. This is taking too long. He adjusts his watch to stop time once more and rises until the frogs stop hanging in the air. Halting his climb, he adjusts his watch to restart time. He pans his phone camera to show the area, and happens to catch a frog as it appears.
Suddenly Glass starts drifting on the wind. He can't seem to drop back down to the ground. Frowning, he calls Neon, who at that moment is drifting across Colorado. "Are you any good in the air. I seem to be out of my element."
"What are you calling me on?"
"That has weight. It will let you down."
"Oh yes. I have it entangled."
"Oh. Maybe that's why I feel lightheaded. Chow."
"Wait. This is taking too long. Can you get me to the anomaly sooner?"
"No, but I know someone who can. They'll call you back."
Glass hangs up, and resumes the call with Loois and Zabeth. "One of my associates is on his way here, but it's taking too long. Can you get him here sooner?"
Loomis sighs, "Yes." It's been a long, day, and he's getting tired of doing teleports for people. "I'll need his number."
Somewhere over Colorado, a phone rings. "Claud here."
"This is Loois. Mr. Glass asked me to call you"
"Yes, I'd like to be by Glass."
"Hold the line…" Bang! Claude is now in Loois' apartment in Bermuda. "Hi. I'm Loois. You want to get to Glass, right?" Claude nods. "Hold the line…" Loomis turns to the phone to Mr. Glass, "Mr. Glass are you prepared to accept company?"
"Only if he can float." Given that Claude is floating a foot off the floor in Loomis' apartment, this shouldn't be a problem. Bang! Claude is now ~1500 feet in the air over Bugtussle, Iowa. There are frogs falling out of a point in the air.
Claude Neon does a Lidar scan. It's very much like what he sees with his eyes. Every now and then, a small object appears, and then falls.
Mr. Glass asks, "Loois, are you still there?"
"Yes, and so is Zabeth."
"It's still raining frogs here. I've got one here. Do you want it?" Bang! The frog disappears from Glass' hand. It's a young Plains Leopard frog. This leads Loois and Zabeth into a discussion of the plagues of Egypt, which is abruptly halted when Glass screams, "I didn't have anything to do with that."
After an embarrassed silence, Loomis asks, "By the way, Mr. Glass, how do you and Mr. Neon know about us?
Neon pipes up, "Call me Claude."
"I believe we got the same briefing. From a colleague. Higher ups. You probably don't know him. You must know Degaliah."
They don't. Loomis and Zabeth start debating what incarnation that comes from.
Back in Iowa, Neon grouses, "We sent pictures. You sent them a frog. I know, they need a sign." A glowing red arrow appears, pointing at the head of the frogfall.
Mr. Glass asks, "I don't suppose any of you float?"
"Not without notice."
Pictures of the frogfall, complete with glowing red arrow start to appear on Youtube. Mr. Glass' phone beeps for his attention. After a glance at the report, he frowns and Neon, who grumbles, "People will assume it's a Photoshop job… Oh all right." The glowing arrow is gone.
Returning to the phone, Mr. Glass asks, "Would it help for you to prep and be here?"
"I don't know. We've never had to *be* there before."
Zabeth and Loomis debate the wisdom of going to Iowa. There is the possibility that this is all a trap. On the other hand, being on site might help. Nothing else seems to have worked.
Glass does time control to drop to the ground.
Last Updated: Jan 16, 2009
©2009 Barry Tannenbaum, All Rights Reserved