Castile-La Mancha, Spain
October 9, 2014
11:07 AM CET
The three of them sat in the Camaro, parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, unsure of what to do.
"This isn't fair! How is this jerk attacking us from an unreachable place?" Gadgeteer complained.
"I'm trying to think of a way to track him, but nothing comes to mind currently." Alex pondered. "There has to be someway to track him via my own Estate."
"Wait, maybe that's just it. Gadgeteer, how did you pinpoint Romulus?" Feeney asked.
"My estate just told me the exact location of the source." Gadgeteer said. "I… felt… that it HAD to be in Iniesta, Spain."
"That should imply that chancels can't be used as a point to attack an Estate. Which means that it isn't a matter of WHERE the attacks are coming from… but HOW." Feeney said. "How close are we to a WiFi source?"
"Probably a long ways." Gadgeteer replied.
"Does the GamePlayer have mobile data?" Feeney asked.
"It's… complicated." Gadgeteer said. "In Kidpunk, smartphones were AdulTech. The GamePlayer was, via KidTech, connected to the K.I.D. satellite network."
"Then what does that feature connect to now?" Feeney inquired.
Gadgeteer used the Estate of Play to ask his plaything what exactly it was communicating with. "It says it's connected to a top secret military telecommunications satellite."
"So it has internet." Feeney smiled.
"Yeah!" Gadgeteer realized.
"And so does that smartphone Alex carries around." Feeney told them. "He's not attacking us from a chancel, he's uploading and downloading himself and his miracles from the internet!"
"Are you telling us that we have to attack the World Wide Web itself?" Alex asked, confused as he looked at his smartphone. "Wait…if we shut off our mobile data and WiFi, he can't attack us, right?"
Feeney went wide-eyed. "Shut off all the electronic devices you have, now!" They quickly responded by doing just that. Just to be extra safe, Alex took the battery out of his phone as to be as cautious as possible. "Now if my theory is correct, he can't upload himself to our devices." Feeney said. "As for getting rid of him, it's not the internet that we need to attack, it's our enemy. And I might know how to go dark, but I'm a scarecrow. I just know that no devices means I had no digital footprint out in a farmer's field."
"Alex, how much do you know about REAL computers? Because I'm good with KidTech, but non-miraculous technology doesn't work that way." Gadgeteer asked.
"Depends. What exactly do you need to know about?" Alex asked, looking at the battery from his phone before slipping it into his pocket.
"I think I've got a plan." Gadgeteer explained. "Does anyone know how we can contact Stone Cold Eeyore?"
"Doesn't she know my phone number for some creepy reason? I thought that thing wasn't listed anywhere!" Alex mulled.
"It isn't listed anywhere." Feeney said. "She has everyone's phone number." He then thought for a moment. "She can be contacted from 'The Right Public Phone' but we need to know which one before trying. Rafael Picard listens for that stuff, and he's… 'malevolent'. That's literally all the Field Guide had to say about him, and I'd rather not find out how much of an understatement that is. He'll know if we use the wrong phone."
"Malevolent? What do you mean malevolent? He sounds like the shady guy around the corner to me." Alex commented.
"I don't think we have a choice at this point." Gadgeteer said. “We're going to have to try and see.”
Villanueva de la Jara, Cuenca, Spain
October 9, 2014
11:18 AM CET
A few minutes later, they arrived at Casa del Hortelano, a small hotel in the small city of Villanueva de la Jara. It had been over 24 hours since they'd last slept, and all three of them were feeling odd about a life that didn't necessitate rest.
Alex merely followed his two companions, still unsure whether or not this was a good plan, seeing as they could have major trouble if this didn't go according 'to plan'. “Don't you think people will find it weird to see two strange guys and a boy travelling alone?” he asked.
Gadgeteer shrugged. “Go in alone then.”
“Me?!” Alex said. “I'm not playing Russian Phone Roulette alone!”
“I'll do it.” Feeney told them, and walked into the hotel. Inside, a clerk was sitting bored at his post, staring half-awake at a computer screen. “Excuse me,” Feeney asked him. “I'm on vacation and I seem to have misplaced my cell phone.” The clerk pointed apathetically at the payphone in the back of the lobby, barely even registering that something was definitely strange about Feeney, let alone seeing through his guise's weirdness censor. “Ah. Thank you.” Feeney said.
Picking up the receiver, he used his power over Disruption to disrupt Rafael Picard's tapping of payphones worldwide for a couple precious seconds, or at least he hoped so, since Rafael could easily overpower Feeney's Greater Creation of Disruption. “Hello, can I please speak to Stone Cold Eeyore?”
For a few tense moments, there was no reply, and then a female voice responded. “Stone Cold Eeyore, at your service.”
“You have no idea how relieved I am to hear you! My name is Feeney, Power of Disruption. I've got a problem I'm hoping you can help solve and I wasn't able to contact you without throwing caution to the wind. My familia has ended up risking the attention of a malevolent person named Rafael Picard, whoever that is."
"Rafael Picard?! You risked Excrucian attacks?! You'd better have a good reason for contacting me." Stone Cold Eeyore warned him.
Alex waited alongside Gadgeteer as he intently watched Feeney talk to Stone Cold Eeyore over the phone. He cautiously looked in paranoia as to make sure Rafael Picard wasn't anywhere nearby them. He looked down at the phone in his hand whose battery was taken out.
"I do indeed. A member of my familia, the Power of Play, received an unprovoked attack on his estate from the Power of Sadism." Feeney began.
"Gadgeteer, the Power of Play? He contacted me not that long ago. He couldn't use the device he wears to contact me?" she asked. "What happened with Romulus Nightshade?"
"When Gadgeteer retaliated, he unintentionally managed to… permanently subdue… the Power of Sadism before Romulus could cause more damage. Then the Power of Zealotry attempted to kill us. We managed to stop 'Mohamed' with non-lethal force, but now a third member of their familia is trying to attack all three of our estates. We're not even sure who the power is, but they seem to be slinging miracles at us through electronic networks."
"Ah. Noble politics are always ugly." Stone Cold Eeyore mused. "So how can I help?"
"Could we please find out what the phone numbers of the other members of Romulus' and Mohamed's familia are?" Feeney asked.
"Those would be Jack Talini, Power of Stage Magic, and BEN DROWNED, Power of Creepypasta." she answered. "Got a pen and paper? Their numbers are…"
Feeney walked out of the hotel with two phone numbers written on a business card for the hotel, with a red circle drawn around one of them in red felt marker. "We've got them." Feeney said. "I phoned BEN DROWNED, the Power who's been attacking our estates. He's agreed to meet with us if he can download himself into Alex's phone."
"Wait what? Why my phone out of all things?! I have important numbers, information, and other important things on there!" Alex said in annoyance, scowling down at the phone in his hand.
“I don't know what to say, but you've got a responsibility now. It doesn't matter if a few phones get fried while you try to save your Estate, as long as you don't fail.” Gadgeteer paraphrased grimly.
"God…" Alex sighed in annoyance before he put the battery back in his phone and turned it on. "Luckily, I backed up everything last week. I'll be a bit behind on my work and whatnot, but I should be fine."
Once the phone was fully on, the download icon appeared in the top bar momentarily, and then the screen glitched up a bit as the SMS app opened. it begins appeared in the text message history. It was then that Alex noticed his cell reception was suddenly at no bars.
"Gotcha." Feeney said. "Take out the battery."
The CEO did as Feeney said and quickly took out the battery of his phone.
"I think we just built the world's first computer mousetrap!" Gadgeteer laughed.
"Hey you there!" a man said from further down the street. "You're Rau's Powers, right?" He was wearing an old-timey magician's outfit, and carried a black magic wand with two white tips.
"Jack Talini, I presume?" Feeney asked.
"Who?" Alex tilted his head in confusion.
"Yeah that's me, the power of Stage Magic." Jack explained. "I see you've killed one of my familia and trapped both the others. They're a real hassle and all of them are nuts. I don't know why they did this, but they pretty much dragged me into it. So I'll make you a deal. Release the two you haven't killed, and not only will I not tell the Council of Four about Romulus' demise, I'll give you something extra in return and we'll never trouble you again."
"The Council?!" Feeney said fearfully. "I suppose we shouldn't have retaliated so strongly…"
"Uh…the Council of Four?" asked Chaser again in confusion.
"It's a so-called justice system for Powers. Love is a crime, one of the four Imperator judges never votes differently from Lord Entropy, and one of the remaining two treats Earth as a playground." Feeney explained.
Suddenly a few ugly, spindly-shaped humanoids appeared on the rooftops above them. "Romulus Nightshade is dead at the hands of a new power?! Lord Entropy will want to hear about this!" They then quickly sprung away, leaving an awkward pause.
"Nimblejacks. One of many types of Lord Entropy's cronies." Jack sighed. "Name's a coincidence. Looks like the Council is an inevitability, but I'll testify that you're innocent."
Gadgeteer suddenly felt even smaller than his 2'10" cartoon kid stature would suggest.
"Well…" Alex said. "Looks like we're totally f***ed." He turned to look at Gadgeteer. "…what do we do then?" Alex asked as he watched the Nimblebacks disappear.
"I… I don't know. I-" Gadgeteer broke into tears. "I just want to go home! I want to see Hazmat and Haystack again! I want to fight lazy adults, not complete monsters who kill and cripple and tear apart souls!"
"Good luck…" Jack said, "This really never should have happened." He then took out a smoke bomb and tossed it at his feet, disappearing in a puff of smoke.
When Alex checked his pockets, he noticed the CD and phone had been replaced by a letter addressed to 'Alex, Feeney & Gadgeteer'. Inside was a rusty tumbler lock key with a tag attached to it labelled "Locus Tortrer". A smiling image of Freddy Fazbear could be seen on the handle of the key.
Alex rummaged through his pockets before taking the key out of his pocket and staring at it blankly. He narrowed his eyes at the Freddy Fazbear that was on the key, looking at it in annoyance. "Well…isn't this lovely." He said as he waved it around to Gadgeteer and Feeney.