no where to run... (museum quest part 26)

Location: Auckland War Memorial Museum
Baskets Left: 1

it should have been over people of the web wide world...

i'd hit (nearly) every stop on ms. rhonwyn's list, yet i still had one of the flax artifact baskets. even after going round the auckland museum's maori hall twice it was still here...

this was a big problem, though not an entirely unsolvable one mind you.

i'd been forced to skip all my stops in picton, by what i think most would consider acceptable reasons. if i could figure out a way to get back to picton than i'd probably be okay. not that it was going to be easy. ms. rhonwyn had given me a set of rental vouchers, free tickets, and money to get from one end of new zealand to the other. all of it was gone now. she'd been specific that i not miss stops so i won't have to back track...

now i was half a country from where i needed to be.

that was just the problem if i were keeping it solvable mind you... of course it wasn't anymore.

due to a brand new factor, literally walking onto the scene.

whiro the maori god of darkness had finally caught up with me... which was almost an extraordinary event (if not for the peril it caused anyway). i hadn't seen him on the north island at all... only his minions... i'd been wondering if he'd been able to make the crossing to the north island or not. apparently he could it would seem.

the only good bit of news out of all of it, was that whiro didn't know where i was in the museum.

i'd managed to hide just in time when he arrived (if not for my newly acquired "magic sense" i'd have had it!). not that it was going to really save me for long...

he seemed to have an uncanny ability to track me... the only time i can think of that i lost him was at the mirror lakes (he just walked off into the woods for some reason)... so even if i managed to sneak past him out of the building he was bound to catch up quick.

that wasn't even mentioning i had no transport. i'd returned my last rental car when i got into auckland. meaning i'd have to find a car or something out of town... which would take time... last time i had whiro right on my tail there was no way i would have been able to get to rental place and hit the road. so i didn't see how this time was going to be different.

i suddenly realized all this thinking had distracted me for a good minute. i peeked around from my hiding spot to discover whiro was no where to be seen...

stupid tiny brain! heavy thinking like this always slows me down big time...

i reminded myself not to panic. it was important not to panic. the good news was whiro obviously couldn't pinpoint me in the museum... though for how long that was true i wasn't sure... to be fair he could also have been toying with me.

i needed a plan of action, and i needed it yesterday!

the weird part as unlike normal i didn't need huge amounts of time to think. for whatever reason, probably the panic, i came up with a really fast plan.

even right at that moment i thought of it, that alone thinking about it now, it was the worst plan i'd EVER come up with!

what choice did i have though???

okay don't actually answer that people of the web wide world... the obvious choice was to take a few minutes and come up with something better... but its always easier when looking back in time. for all i knew whiro was about to pounce, and let me assure you he may not be scary to read about, but he sure is scary in person!

so off i went to enact the first foolhardy idea i'd come up. even i could tell i was doomed from the start...

i sprinted to the maori gallery trying to get to the marae, but you'll never guess what i nearly ran into... yeah it was whiro... okay that was a lame game of guess who i admit, but considering the stress of today please cut me some slack people of the innerweb.

despite nearly barrelling into him, whiro didn't notice me. which is pretty amazing considering the loud screech i made clawing my way to a halt on the slippery tiled floor.

i stumbled around for what must have been the age of the earth to find a hiding spot... though in a review of the security tape i'm told 24 seconds... when i finally found one i was still amazed that whiro hadn't taken notice.

in fact as i watched him, whiro seemed very distance. zoned out in fact. it was like he was... this will sound stupid, but it's true... following his nose. wait why'd i say that... pretend i hadn't written that last bit, and this is what i said instead of the nose thing... like he was following an invisible trail.

i realized after watching for a couple minutes that whiro was seriously following my path through the museum. somehow he was taking the EXACT same route as i had... wait i'd seen this before. when he tracked me down at the mirror lakes... somehow he was either sensing something me or the baskets were leaving behind.

suddenly my plan altered a little bit... which i knew even then, must mean i was even more doomed than before. if my plan could be that easily changed... too late though.

finally whiro wandered out of the maori court, and i snuck into the marae.

here was the moment of truth. either i go through with my more than likely critically flawed scheme or listen to sober second thought and try and think of something intelligent...

so of course i opened the dare basket!
immediately i was dizzy and tingly. than just like it had the first time i'd opened a basket the dosage of mystic gradient energy turned up... or sorry mystic gradient energy is fancy sciency talk for magic...

again i could feel the magic flow through every millimetre of my body. there is nothing grosser or more uncomfortable than feeling all the organs and soft gooey parts of your body people of the innerweb. seriously i felt everything down to the little ends of my nerves.

i also once again got a massive flashback/slide show version of maori mysticism. for a moment i knew it all as though i had the brain of a smart person. sadly i lost most of the knowledge when the effects of the basket wore off. with this peek i can safely say this was kete tuateu the tomb of all the maori black arts and deadly magics (what little i remember typically shows up in my nightmares...)... this was the same basket i'd opened up before.
the secrets of the maori dark arts, i definitely didn't want whiro getting his hands on these!.. and what had i done. turned on the loudest mystic beacon i could as to my whereabouts!

instantly after the basket had finished bombarding me and the room with mystical gradient energy, the place went insane! i'd seen what baskets could do to a place while their magic was sealed up in wellington (here and here). i sure wasn't prepared for the effect it'd have on maori artifacts (though i really shouldn't be surprised. the baskets did make pearl harbour new zealand into the best war reenactment of the movie ever!)

suddenly all the dozens of totems and statues of the marae were really animated. well okay fortunately just their mouths. otherwise i would have been in trouble... cause they were all really mad at me!!!

from all around me (the walls were made of these guys after all) came a none stop chatter of them screaming stuff like: "you foolish mortal!" "what have you done kauwheke te kura?" "you have broken tapu!" "may the gods curse you forever!" "you dare release such terrible powers on the world?!?" at me.

though it was quite insulting and frankly irritating (i now know what the phrase "if these walls could talk" means!) i was relieved. it was kind of part of my plan. though i'd never imagined the building itself would become such a character in all this. i'd just been counting on a magic over dose... i was suspecting that was how whiro had been following me the entire quest.

he hadn't picked up my trail until i'd stupidly opened the basket. had i never done that than he'd probably never have found me in this big country... to late to cry over spelt magic though.

the only part of my plan that made sense was to use his magic hound sense against him.

quickly i ran over to the wall furthest from the door. the wall totems really didn't like that, and i had to not lean too close or they'd bite at me. several of them had sharp carved teeth!

i prepared the key part of my plan.

though i finished with time to spare it couldn't have been long enough really. a few minutes later a familiar clicking sound of stone on tile could be heard getting closer, and moving very quickly towards the marae.

whiro appeared at the entrance, but cautiously entered as though adjusting to the dark...
as he stepped inside the totems on the wall all began to register their hatred and fear of whiro. well apart from one or two interestingly. they were deity butt kissers, who clearly didn't like him, but were trying to kiss up to him...
even though the totems had all seen what i'd done, not a single one ratted me out though. phew! it'd have been game over if they had.

"silence you fools!" whiro hissed above their combined chatter. instantly the totems all quieted down some visibly recoiling despite being unable to actual move. "you dare address an atua such as myself in this manner?!? do you not realize what i in my infinite power could do to you?" i wasn't sure how much of his talk was just for show or not, but these carvings of great ancient warriors and demi-gods clearly were really scared of him.

"why i should not invoke tapu upon you now i do not know. it is because of your ancestors and iwi abandoning the old ways we gods have been brought to brink of oblvion," whiro contemplated aloud. than i realized why. he was trying to scare them into helping him. "it is so bright in here. if one of you tell me where the kete is that i seek you shall be rewarded in my ascession."

no i just realized, he was overcome by the crazy amount of magic inside not the dark! he couldn't see properly because of my bombarding the place... just like i'd planned!

wait a second. he'd asked the totems to tell him where the kete is, and i wasn't prepared...

as whiro walked into the middle of the room awaiting an answer, i crept towards the door. as i went i very anxiously looked back at the panel where i'd been "hiding". me as my brain and limbs went numb as fear and doubt overwhelmed me... everything depended on that one panel. the stupidity and recklessness of my "plan" hit me all at once as i stepped into the doorway...

than like that i had to get into game mode.
one of the sucking up totems spoke up. "oh great atua, whiro, the kete which you seek..." it started. oh no!
fortunantely a few of the other nobler and braver totems began screaming at and over the cowardly one drowning out the rest of the sentence. if i was going to keep my so far working plan on the tracks i had to kick it into high gear now!
as i got into the door i purposely tripped. i was rewarded with a very unearthly frightening growl (it made gozer's roar in ghostbusters seem like a little girl growling!) as whiro noticed my attempted escape.

with my juvenile tyrannosaur legs (which are of course built for speed compared to the heavier adult) i bolted out of there. much to the shock and annoyance of the normal visitors to the museum. they couldn't see whiro though. i'd noticed most peope don't seem attuned to magical stuff unless their exposed to it properly.

trust me though, if you'd seen him sprinting after me you'd have been terrified too!

as i ran from the museum i could hear him on my tail till i got out the front door (or was it back? auckland has two main entrances...)

as i made it halfway across the grass i realized i'd lost him... why?

as i stood panicedly thinking the situation over, and what i was going to do next... i needed him to follow me away from the museum... i clawed anxiously at the grass.

the soft vegetation under foot was kinda soothing despite the dire situation i was in, and it made me crave a nice lay down back home in the botanic garden in dunedin... i could just imagine lying my head down on that nice soft moss pillow and closing my... wait a second! MOSS that was it!!!

there was moss at the mirror lakes... oh sorry people of the innerweb, euphorias muck up my at the best of times strained thinking... remember when whiro had me trapped at the mirror lakes, and followed my trail perfectly till it came to the bit off the path... well this was just like that.

he'd been following me in the museum fine, but now that i was in "nature" he seemed to be unable to get my "scent"...

i couldn't let him back track and figure out what'd i'd been up to it would have been game over...

but how was i going to get his attention now?...

than it hit me. ms. rhonwyn had said not to phone after mystic gradient radiation exposure because the phone connection applified it into a magical becon...

so guess who i dialed?

ms. rhonwyn answered the phone with no rings. "traumador our tracking sateillites have been picking up spectacular MGR spikes in auckland. does this mean you've completed the mission?" she sounded hopeful

i couldn't lie or even pretend my plan was going to work. "no, i've failed," i sadly admitted thinking through the situation one more time.

"ms. rhonwyn i'm so sorry i couldn't pull this off for you, and i hope you forgive me when i'm gone," which i suspected would right after this phone call. "i failed in the marae at the auckland museum. send someone to follow up my efforts there, and there might still be some hope."

"traumador?" ms. rhonwyn's voice was completely shocked. i could tell she knew what i mean, and that she had realized this was quite possibly the last time she'd ever speak to me again.

i tried to think of something kinda touching or fitting to say... you know like the people in the movies do. famous last words or something... when i looked up and saw something that made me drop the phone...

the weird black statue that'd given me the weird feeling when i got to the the museum. the weird feeling was back... kinda like deja vu... only i knew that something pivital was ABOUT to happen...

suddenly from behind me there came another great unearthly growl just like in the marae.

you see while running through the museum i'd lost whiro initially due to his making a stop at one of the exhibits...

a rather destructive one at that. he spotted an artifact that could be of great use to him. so he simply took it...

now armed with a particularly renowned mere, or short club, with which to hunt me down once and for all whiro resumed trying to hunt me down.

only by this time i'd hit the lawn, and he lost my trail...

with my phone call, whiro literally lept back into action!

at which point i saw the statue... only to have him come up behind me, and emit his bone chilling battle cry.

with him now "safely" on my tail again i proceeded to run away from the museum.

the only thing was i had no idea why at this point!

my plan really hadn't been the solid to begin with. i'd never anticipated getting this far with it, and now with whiro chasing me there was little certainty that i'd live to tell the end of this tale. that alone whether my small hope of keeping him from the basket would pay off...

to be CONCLUDED!!!

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