by now i felt so confident about the safety of the museum and its displays that i wander the whole museum. i means the WHOLE thing. no more of this just patrolling the lobby. sure i can see all the major entry and exit points of the place from there, but it gets real boring. especially again cause nothing happens!
i even wander down to collections. all major museums have collections of materials they don't put on display. there's only so much display floor space to put stuff. even if you somehow crammed it all into the galleries it'd overwhelm your visitors! so off into basically a storage/warehouse setup that stuff goes.
ours is in the basement, and the really far back part is spooky as...
most of the excess artifacts and specimens are stored in nice modern metal cabinets and shelving. here in the "original" collection we've got material collected and stored from as far back as the 1860's. these are in old creepy wooden crates straight out of indiana jones or something...
i've been coming down here to try and over come my fear of creepy places. considering my renewed run in with ghosts i decided i had to redouble my efforts at confronting these fears...
i'm not sure why i find it so scary. the fact that you're surrounded by these old dusty, musty, and uh crusty crates as far as the eye can see. i don't mean just the rows of collections either, but they also are piled up to the ceiling. or perhaps it's the fact that most of these haven't been open and had their contents checked since they were initially put down here over a hundred years ago. why you ask?
well any museum worth it's weight in artifact is always accumulating more and more material each year (palaeontology institutions are really bad for this cause one skeleton can take years to clean off properly). the problem is with such limited staff this is often more than can be efficiently examined and sorted many times. often it's just seen once, and unless it's an excellent item, is just recorded and than put into storage.
so yeah in theory each of these crates has its contents recorded somewhere in our records. who knows though maybe they recorded it wrong? or worse yet maybe something spooky and scary has awaken after all this time down here, and is really hungry?!?
okay see what i mean. those ghosts lights from a few months back, and that true ghost this week in the cemetery have pulled a fast one on my imagination. i'm imagining scary things jumping out at me from all over the place now!
after managing to keep myself in the old section of collections without completely chickening out for almost an hour i needed to get back on patrol. sure nothing was going to happen, but best to be sure i guess. after all i in theory had been promoted. not that ms. rhonwyn saw it fit to leave me with more exciting responsibilities to go with, what i have to admit was, a really generous pay increase.
i headed for my usual patrol spot in the lobby. from here i could not only see the whole interior of the museum, but also a nice view of outside. out there the most spectacular, and yet unusual thing was going on...
a thunderstorm... don't get me wrong i've seen plenty of lightening storms before. in the dry flat prairies of alberta we got plenty of such storms in drumheller. so it's not like i'm scarred of them (if that's where you thought i was going with this).
it's just dunedin is right on the coast, and very very very hilly. i asked a few people why we didn't get more thunderstorms (cause it rains here all the time!). they said it was the hills and the coast.
yet out there a full fledged electric light show was in full gear. it was so pretty. back to my earlier insecurity (that ghost really did a number on me i think...) i not only don't fear lightening, i really like it. even the thunder... something deep in me... my uh... well i guess dinosaur instincts... is assured by that sound. i don't know why exactly.
as i was watching mother nature put on a great storm suddenly a different noise echoed through the lobby...
my "cell" phone was ringing. the last few times i've answered this thing as of late it's been nothing but bad news... my agent peter bond confusing the peanut out of me, my cousin larry arriving, and the germ-man daring me into going to the graveyard. knowing my luck as of late it was going to be another call like these...
man if only i put money on that!
"hello?" i hesitantly asked answering the beeping device.
"traumador! thank the gods!" ms. rhonwyn said relieved. her voice turned to stressed. "why haven't you been answering your phone?!? i've been trying to reach you for almost an hour!"
"oh really? i had it on," i thought out loud. than it hit my tiny brain. "oh wait i was down in collections. maybe my 'cellphone' was too far down to hear your call."
"hear my call?" ms. rhonwyn sounded a little baffled. okay good. that means i'm not the only one who doesn't get these so-called living "cell phones". how else could they be without wires or cables if they didn't have ears built in to hear other phone's calling them?
oh yeah the earthquake... well as you'll recall people of the innerweb it struck dunedin pretty hard. 7 point something on the rick-ticker scale, but it only hit dunedin. no where else in the country detected or felt it at all. which is a little weird.
"not that i can think of," i answered as i thought through everything since yesterday. apart from this phone call, and finding a quarter on the way home from work yesterday nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
"he says nothing," ms. rhonwyn said to someone on her end of the line. i had no idea who it might be.
than i heard an unfamiliar voice speak to her. "i'm still picking it up. its burying the needle, mame. if it hasn't hit yet its going to any minute!"
"traumador you need to look around for something out of place," her voice was as urgent as i'd ever heard it.
than almost on cue something of that nature occurred... there was a green flash throughout the lobby. out over the peninsula i could have sworn i saw a green bolt of lightening.
"uh does green lightening count?" i offered.
"truamador is there a thunderstorm going on right now?!?" ms. rhonwyn sounded terrified.
"yeah," i said echoed by extremely loud thunder from the green lightening.
from off the phone on her end came. "mame! the MC just spiked beyond any previous observed level! it's happened!"
"what's going on?" i really wanted to know. this was starting to creep me out, and almost as though the universe knew how i was feeling...
the whole place shuddered as a massive quake hit. it wasn't like yesterday's. this one was scary as. way more powerful and intense. also the thunder from outside seemed to join in with the rumble of the building. almost as though the were voicing its approval of the chaos going on in here...
as the shaking subsided. "traumador what was that?!?" ms. rhownyn sounded hysteric. that's why she's my favorite boss. she's always worried about my welfare. "traumador are you okay?!? please answer!!!"
i peeled myself off the floor, still a little jittery and disoriented. "it's okay. it was just another earthquake," i assured her.
"quick check with the geologic survey about a quake," she ordered the person on her end. "traumador i suspect we don't have much time. if what i think is happening it is imperative you listen to me very careful."
"i'm about to entrust to you, the safety and care some of new zealand's most important and vital artifacts," her voice was dead serious. "under absolutely no circumstances are you to break any of the rules you are going to be given. whether over the phone or more importantly those written down for you."
"okay," i said in anticipation. i couldn't tell you what i felt. it was mix of pure undiluted fear AND excitement at the same time! my heart pounded so furiously i thought it was going to escape my ribcage and when did i have a whole swarm of bees for breakfast?
from off phone. "that was no quake mame! every station in otago picked it up with anomalous results across the board, but they pin pointed the epicentre directly on the museum. right now the satellites are picking up massive concentrated mass of MC energy manifesting itself in the western end of the building."
i heard a really loud noise come from the stair well. based on the echo it must have come from the basement.
"i heard that," ms. rhonwyn's voice sounded like she'd heard... well a ghost! "traumador you need to get to my office NOW!"
i didn't need to be told twice. i bolted at full speed (which as a juvenile body build is pretty darn fast) up the stairs to the third floor.
it was here on the top floor that all the behind the scenes people's offices and work spaces are tucked away. i typically don't come in this section. only once a shift for like 30 second to make sure the area is secure.
as i unlocked this door i suddenly realized, despite the door being firmly shut, was anywhere in this place truly secure?
from behind up the stairwell came loud bangs and thumping. something big was going on downstairs!!!
had i wandered deep into the basement back into the "original" section of collections i would have been greeted by a most disturbing of sights... which is good i wasn't there as point of fact. i've been having enough trouble sleeping since my last ghost encounter thank you very much!!!
right about the moment the unknown person on ms. rhonwyn's end said that thing about "satellites are picking up massive concentrated mass of MC energy manifesting itself in the western end of the building" this was happening...
with loud sounds still emanating from the bowels of the building i pushed forward into the senior wing. i'd never been to ms. rhonwyn's office before! yeah i know. you'd think i'd know where my boss worked... but she's out of the country so often, and than when she is around i never know it till she basically ambushes me somewhere familiar in the place, that it sometimes feels like she doesn't actually work here or something...
"it's the last door on your left," ms. rhonwyn ordered me. "behind my desk on the chair should be a brown envelope. grab it, and get hell out of there as fast as you can traumador!"
i found the door to her office unlocked... weird... cause i'd checked all these offices yesterday, and her's was locked than...
on the chair i found the brown envelope. it even had written on it FOR TRAUMADOR THE TYRANNOSAURS EYES ONLY. also a smaller letter sized envelope was taped on the outside. on it read KEY INSTRUCTIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR MISSION.
lifting up the package i was astounded by how light the whole thing was. there was something inside the big brown envelope, whatever it (or they) were the majority of the envelope was filled, but not bulging mind you, but it didn't weigh much. in fact the taped on instruction envelope weighed more than the bigger brown envelope.
i thought she said i was getting the most important artifacts in new zealand! how could they possibly fit in an envelope?
"wait what...?" i started to ask, but was interrupted.
"the phone network just spiked with MC static. we're being tracked and traced!" came the stranger's voice.
"traumador i HAVE to hang up! listen to me carefully though!" ms. rhonwyn pleaded. "do not under any circumstance try to call me or anyone else! follow the directions to the letter. do you hear me? to the letter! most important do not under any circumstance open one of them EVER!!!"
there was a slight *click*. "what are you talking about?" i inquired. "what don't i open?" hello? hello? hellllllllllooooooo?"
nothing. she'd hung up. i was about to redial her (okay in contradiction to her instruction i'll admit, but at the time if you'd been in my position what would you have done?), but suddenly from behind me came not just the usual sounds of destruction and mayhem. an unearthly voice screamed...
let's just say it didn't spell much hope for anything encountering the issuer of the screamer keeping their life after said encounter...
i dashed down the hall aiming for the stairs, holding my new package tightly with my puny arms (though their not weak by any stretch!). as i hit the stairs and began speedily yet carefully running down them, i hoped beyond hope whatever had been in the basement was still there!after what seemed the longest 45 seconds in my life i'd hit the main floor. i sprinted to the front door, but when i got there realized it was looked.
behind me the noises got louder. i yelped, and started fumbling with my keys...
i dropped them... oh no. i uselessly pawned at them with my thumbless limbs. wasting precious time...
BANG CLANG... oh man they were getting closer... i'd wasted at least 30 more seconds struggling with my keys. in desperation i lunged at them with my bear trap like jaws. i was rewarded with the feeling of the ring slipping over my lower premaxillary teeth.
using the backward tossing technique we t-rexs feed with i threw the keys in the air. as they reached their maximum height, and gravity once again drew them to the ground i realised if i screwed up catching them it might well be game over! no pressure or anything!!!
despite setting myself up for failure i somehow caught them! might be the fact their on a ring the diameter of the average human arm...
success i had the door unlocked, and myself outside in less than 10 seconds. i even locked the door back up before i bolted... hey it's the rule. no guard leaves without securing the main entrance... can't let an emergancy override the rules. whole world would go to the KT in a hand basket...
as i ran i wondered what could possibly have been making that noise in the basement? i mean i'd just been down there... there wasn't anything there while i'd been... had there?!?
to be contiuned...