The Flea Market
Sea City, Locus Apepi
October 8, 2014
10:34 AM PST
Feeney was quietly tending his shop when the call came in on the old rotary phone on the counter.
Unsure of what to do with his new life during his "off" time, Feeney had decided to make a hobby out of being a shopkeeper. He didn't need the money, but the crumbling shop in a backwater corner of his chancel looked like it needed someone to care for it.
The shop's previous owner had owned it before Locus Apepi existed, when it was located at the Sasquatch Island Ferry Terminal. Perplexed by the true nature of Creation, startled at the way the Island had changed shape and become overrun with urban structures, unable to leave the chancel lest he wind up with dementia animus, and tired of the mundane task of running a business, he was more than willing to sell Feeney the shop in return for an apartment in the luxurious Sky City 1000 arcology at the center of Sea City.
The scarecrow turned Nobilis had found quite a few oddities in the shop created as residue of the chancel's creation, including a circus model in a glass box at so small a scale that the fleas inside performed on equipment and watched the performances from seats that fit the miniscule insects.
Inspired by the novelty item, he had named the small pawn shop "The Flea Market" and placed the flea circus on display in the front window, removing the disruption from the item itself and the glass storefront windows to keep it preserved forever.
Another thing Feeney had found was an old brown suit from the 1960s, which he now wore despite it being a bit too big for him.
Bells chimed to indicate someone had entered the shop. Feeney looked up from the magic lamp he was polishing, which unfortunately no longer contained a genie, to see Gadgeteer peeking over the lip of the counter at him.
"Spain, is it?" Feeney asked. "Europe should be interesting."
"It's 7:35 at night there right now, according to my B.O.G.G.L.E.S." Gadgeteer said. "Where's Alex?"
The bells chimed again as their question was answered. Alex looked a bit stunned. "Did you know being a Power means all your stuff gets upgrades? Draconic Studios just posted a massive quarterly profit. The little prop plane I bought last month? The pilots I hired to fly me across the country in it? After taking forever to arrive, they showed up today… except instead I got a brand new business jet and the pilots are licensed to fly into and out of the world's most dangerous airports!"
"I wouldn't know. All my stuff was fictional apparently, so it was impossibly cool to begin with." Gadgeteer said, disappointed at the average technology of the Prosaic Earth.
"I don't actually own anything." Feeney explained. "Scarecrows just sit in a field with the clothes on their back."
"How'd you get this shop then?" Gadgeteer asked.
"Rau gave us all apartments in the arcology. I traded mine for the shop. When you've spent your life standing absolutely still in a field, even ordinary work is surprisingly refreshing." Feeney said. "Now what was this about something attacking Play?"
"I looked up the location at an internet cafe here in Sea City. It's weird. It said, exactly, 'Iniesta is a municipality located in the province of Cuenca, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. According to the 2009 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 4,685 inhabitants.' on some sort of online encyclopedia. That's it. The Spanish version of the page didn't have much more, just a vague history, information on its agriculture industry and lists of past mayors and monuments. It doesn't make sense! It's like someone tore something out of the area that affected all records of the things around it. The online maps show Iniesta, sure, but the satellite view is too blurry to make any sense of it…” Gadgeteer explained, “It's like looking at a photograph with two people, and then looking at a photograph with one of those people in the exact same pose and position, but the other one isn't there."
"I'll bet a million bucks that a nearby town is now someone's Chancel." Alex said confidently.
“How'd you pay for an internet cafe?” Feeney asked offhandedly.
“Used a miracle to get him a bunch of customers who wanted to play MMORPGs. I could get used to this.” Gadgeteer replied, smiling.
Draconic Studios Private Jet
October 8, 2014
11:39 AM PST
An hour later, they were in Alex's jet headed for Spain. Alex had just gotten off the phone with a car rental company, and him and Gadgeteer were using wireless to play a multiplayer video game, despite the consoles being completely different.
Alex was using a prototype game console, created with a 3D printer and running on Android, egregiously called the "Master SilverGear 3Dual" for its ability to play games from almost any game console or computer system with its onboard emulation suite, and that was before the "upgrade" it received when it became an Anchor.
Gadgeteer, meanwhile, was using a system simply called the Neo GamePlayer, which resembled the failed Gizmondo console of the early 2000s but had additional face and shoulder buttons and a touch screen that, combined with its 'KidTech' ability to play any game it had the components to output from and accept input for, put it on par with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U.
Somehow these two strange devices were compatible despite their differences. Feeney didn't care much for games though, and spent most of the 4 hour flight playing pranks across the world using Disruption. Slowly Feeney began to notice that he could sense the pranks the way he sensed disruptions, only weaker. Experimenting, he tried manifesting in a prank somewhere in the world, and was surprised to get a glimpse of someone pouring disappearing ink on an expensive dress, then calling out to the owner of the garment.
Pulling out of the manifestation, Feeney was laughing about the situation he'd seen when Alex and Gadgeteer got curious. "What's so funny?" Alex asked him.
"Ever heard of secondary estates?" Feeney explained, "I also have a bit of control over pranks. This just got a lot more interesting."
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport
October 9, 2014
6:37 AM CET
Coming out of Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, they were passing through airport security when a loudmouthed American tourist started complaining obnoxiously about the entirely reasonable protocols that he egotistically thought he was above.
And with that, Feeney inducted the airport scanner to play a prank on the tourist by showing weapons and drugs that weren't there, using the system designed to keep the X-ray scanner guys alert by showing such things far more often than the once-a-decade kind of attack that they were supposed to prevent. They could hear the outraged traveller screaming all the way out of the airport.