📚 › Cackletown

A town going upside down, reality shook by strange cackling, and a woman with a strange power to unwittingly reshape reality, creating chaos and personality shifts all around. Can the Surge Team keep up with this impossible situation?

Strange cackling occurrences rip through the fabric of realities, and seem to impact every story characters.
Story refugees appear and disappear unexpectedly, and the ones that are here to stay must be given new identities, roles and purposes.
After much confusion, Ed Steam manages to track the source of it all to a not so innocent Bea, whose self-realization and disappearing ego has launched the whole Universe on a nonsensical spin.

Could Ed and other unexpected allies bring back the balance to the verse?

So the Story goes...

Viewing 14 replies - 101 through 114 (of 114 total)
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  • “You!”, said Jeremy Duncan Jasper before jumping on the woman. “You stole my cat! What have you done to Max ?”
    “I don’t have your cat”, said Funley loudly. She was trying to protect her face as an instinctive reaction and pushed on the ground with her feet. The chair had little wheels which allowed her to escape the man’s grasp, but it bumped on Ed’s desk. She was cornered. She jumped out of the chair and ran behind Ed’s desk followed closely by an angry Jeremy.

    “I assume you already know each others”, said Ed, tugging at his mustache casually.

    “Of course I know her”, said Jeremy in a short breath. He showed his fist angrily. “She was supposedly from the hygiene inspection bureau when I worked at the veterinarian clinic. She stole my cat!”

    “I don’t have your cat”, repeated Funley.

    “What have you done with him old crone ? You gave me all those papers to read and sign and when I came back you were gone… with Max.”

    “Tsk tsk”, said Ed. “We have more important matters to attend to.” He lifted his hand to prevent any objection. “You may or may not have noticed, but I have and that’s the more important. Reality has been rebooting repeatedly, and each time people… or animals”, he said looking at Jeremy, “are disappearing.”

    “You see”, said Funley, “I don’t have your cat.” Jasper snorted and showed his teeth.

    “We need to do something”, concluded Ed.

    “Excuse me”, said Duncan, “but what does that have to do with us ? I’m just a bank employee.”

    “A bank employee, who was a veterinarian, a plumber, a taxi driver, a tech guy at the phone company… and more importantly a map dancer. I need a team of gifted people to maximize our chances of survival.”

    Funley raised an eyebrow. “Mr Steam, à propos”, she said brandishing the paper she had found in the trash can.

    “Give that to me, Funley. You can’t go rifling through my trash can. How many times have I told you? It’s practically stealing.” Ed made a grab for the piece of paper in Funley’s grasp but she held it at arm’s length.

    “I think not, Mr Steam. Not until you have explained this!” She shook the piece of paper in her hand.

    Duncan leaned forward and regarded it quizzically. “It looks like a recipe for bone broth.”

    “Oh what!” said Funley. “Damn it! there must have been another reboot.”


      The techromancer was teaching Bea to hone her shifting skills.
      That was the only way she could escape her fate at the hands of the Scourge Moderators (or the Surge Team as they had been called in other iterations of that reality).

      Bea actually was a quick student, but she was too wild and would often go overboard with the whole reality shifting.

      “Focus!” he told her “only a sheet of paper will do for now.”
      “And you don’t actually need the cackling for it to work.”

      Jeremy beamed at Ed, holding what looked like a foiled contraption vaguely reminiscent of a sun oven to his face.

      “Get that out of my mustache, and tell me what it is!” Ed had no patience this days where reality was still dangerously shifty, and Bea nowhere to be found.

      “That’s the solution to locate your patient zero, Mr Ed! I’ve reconfigured your Transfocal Thingy and made a few improvements on the wirigly compensator and…”

      Ed interrupted “I have no idea what you are talking about, son. Make it plain English before I start doubting about you having been rebooted…”

      “Mr Ed, Sir, you know, the device that your friend Pr Blaze Ingle gave you before he was rebooted to a goat-herder in the Andalusian mountains…”

      “Yes, I’m aware, the Transfocal Thingy, that is helping us all to retain more or less our identity, of course I remember! What about it? Don’t tell me you’ve broken it!”

      “On the contrary! I’ve amplified it. And with this drone connected to it, we can scan larger areas. We’ll find her, Sir. Wherever she’d hiding, we’ll find her.”

      “And end her and this madness…” Ed twirled his mustache lost in deep thoughts. It was good to have his Team back, to take care of all the little things. More or less.


        “I think you’re ready now” the techromancer said to an incredulous Bea.

        “Really?” Bea looked suspicious.

        “Yeah, well…” the techromancer looked embarrassed “Not really. You’re not so easy to teach, and I’m not a great teacher either, but with what you learnt, you should be fine. Besides, you need to go now. They are coming for you.”

        The techromancer pointed to one of the directions in his hut, one of the many paths or tunnels that would lead her to a safe escape. For now.

        “So this is goodbye.” Bea said, a tad annoyed by the unceremoniousness of it all. “What next now?”

        “Remember what I told you,” the techromancer said enigmatically “about the custard.”

        “Oh well, that makes it so much clearer now.” Bea sighed as she popped out of the hut towards her new destination.


          There has been a satisfying sense of getting back to normality, after Bea had moved into her personal equivalent of a Witsness Protection Program. (She had to keep the typo for clueing value).

          That satisfying feeling did last, for somewhat longer than she had expected at first. Not by minutes, actually, but by months, if the old calendar was to be trusted.

          She had swept a lot of the strange, mildly irritating, or concerning, or revolting occurrences under the carpet, like the old dust mites and bunnies, and discarded graham cracker’s packages. She didn’t mind the crunchy sounds of her carpets.
          So, she would have been hard-pressed to tell what was the event that made her realise something was not as it should have been. There maybe wasn’t an event at all, maybe it was just the subtle movements of the heart itself.

          At first, she had discarded the parting words of the techromancer as another type of mess-with-your-head mumbo-jumbo.
          It was only last night that she had remembered something about her youth —she could hardly tell if it was a memory of an alternate timeline, or a true event, that really didn’t matter. For a little while, she had been drown into the feeling of innocence, kindness and expansion, the taste of which she had not felt for very long.

          Out of the unexpectedness, out of the emptiness, she remembered the poem of Custard the Dragon. She was suddenly struck by an entire dimension that was opened through reminisced words “But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.”

          Where had her inner dragon gone? Where did The Custard that gobbled a pirate go?


            Bea ordered a cup of coffee, and twinkled her eyes at the nice looking young waiter. She twinkled out of habit, as it had been a good many months since she had felt twinkly. She wondered, not for the first time, if it was the onset of pre senile dementia, or just a momentary madness. The truth of the matter was, she had no idea what she was doing there, but had a nagging feeling that she was there to do SOMETHING. The word Witless kept popping into her head. Protection of the Witless or something…wandering while whimsically wending ones willowy way…was it about woods? Enchanted woods?

            She bit into the doughnut and the custard filling gushed forth, filling her mouth with it’s cool creaminess. Custard. Custard. She stopped chewing, lost in thought, the custard dribbling down her chin unchecked.


              Bea absentmindedly glanced over at her trash can as she sipped her coffee. Not much in there to rummage through, just a couple of paper handkerchiefs and several thousand of the minute flying ants that accumulated daily on her desk. No clues in there for nosy staff to sneak a look at, she thought to herself. Wastepaper baskets, what a waste of space.

              Bea!” Mari Fe called, “activate thread portal for a switch of realities please.”

              [>>>>] The man in the tux with the waxed mustache suddenly popped out from the plane, and back to his headquarters.

              His reconnaissance of the asset went fairly well, even if he feared he had her spooked a little. The poor thing seemed a bit soft on the inside despite her semblance of swagger.

              Ed Steam’s armoured bears were fast asleep at the entrance, when he reappeared at the center of operations. The full team was almost reassembled: Aqua Luna had been the easiest to convince, though not the easiest to find, followed by Mari Fe, Cornella, Madame Li, Kiki Razwa, Björk, Skye, Jeremy the map dancer and some others recovered from limbo threads of realities.

              Cackletown, despite the crowing noise of Maurice the cackling rooster, was a safe interspace reality to hide his base of operations.

              Ed Steam had called for a strategic team meeting this morning.
              He looked at his pocket watch. It was only a queerter to thriety, which meant they were all late, as usual. True that time was notoriously difficult to read in these alternate dimensions, but this particular dimension had been fairly stable since Bea was taking her homeopathic pills, keeping her sneezing fits under control, and all their identities rather clear.

              The next mission required a two pronged approach, with one part of the action on the Pacific Island where another doll was to be revealed, and the other at the Doctor’s lair.

              The Australian tunnels were still under observation, in case the murlocks that were crawling there would be awoken by the blunderous adventurers that had gone investigating.

              Frooteen past thriety. They wouldn’t come now. He probably shouldn’t have left the organization of the meeting to Aqua Luna.

              He looked at the next item on his agenda. “Interdimensional call to Miss Bossy.”

              True, he had to get her update on her investigation into the Doctor’s history. That would surely reveal clues as to his current whereabouts.

              “Slurge been detected Sir,” Madam Li said ominously to Ed.
              “You probably mean a Surge, yes?”
              “Yeah, yeah, that’s what I means, a Slurge. And you no mock my English, I’m no native, xielinlin de e gui!”

              Ed knew better than to argue with Madam Li when she was in a Native swearing mood.

              “What has transpired so far?”
              “Interruption of energy flow, narrows it down to bleeding-through character la.”
              “Sure. Let it unfold for now, there may be no need for intervention, those spurs tend to die out on their own. Keep monitoring.”

              “Buns, Ed?” Evangeline said as she burst through the door brandishing a tea tray. “Nice cuppa tea and a bun?”

              F LoveF Love

                “That’s hardly a ‘bun’,” said a voice. “It’s barely a crumb.”

                Bun being a euphemism for comment.

                Evangeline rolled her eyes, which was almost as tiresome as Funly explaining the joke, rendering it pointless.

              Viewing 14 replies - 101 through 114 (of 114 total)