when my boss ms. rhonwyn gave me a promotion a year ago (due to my being able to put up with my JERK! of a cousin larry's visit) i had NO idea what i was in for...
back in canada at the tyrrell museum life had been pretty normal for me. in fact almost boringly so! most of the time i just sat around pretending to be a statue (so i didn't bother the guests by talking to them...). apart from my brief gig hanging out with the museum's summer camp (which was primo fun! i'll have to post about it sometime) i always knew what to expect.
at first working at the otago museum was the same thing. being a security guard is pretty predictable. so when ms. rhonwyn made me her personal assistant i just thought it'd be the same. a low key repetitive task... man was i wrong! (don't believe me check out the museum quest she sent me on ALL over new zealand!).
the scary thing is she just offered me ANOTHER promotion... what on earth could this lead too i don't know?!? as if being chased by maori gods wasn't crazy enough!!!
of course the other big thing was not only did she just offer me another promotion. i just found out that ms. rhonwyn while here in australia (during my whole museum quest adventure) has made a ton of new dinosaur friends and acquaintances.
including one dip serendipaceratops. who in some ways is probably the most amazing dinosaur i've come across over the years. she's not just a museum exhibit or resident... dip serendipaceratops is an actual PHD candidate. in other words not only has she somehow gotten into skool, but she is going to be a real scientist soon!
can you imagine it people of the innerweb?... maybe not easily come to think of it. for you its probably normal for someone to at least potentially do anything they want.
for us dinosaurs still left alive in the cenozoic things are not quite that easy. you're best hope is to become a movie star or a museum's key attraction. even then you're at the whim of your popularity with the human public. if they lose interest you're back at the bottom. that bottom being a pushed around part of a museum's collection or worse a under appreciated spectacle of some tourist town or theme park...
yet here is dip rising above all that to something resembling a human being. imagine if her example takes off? i've always dreamed of becoming a curator someday. maybe with someone like dip pioneering the way that'll be possible for me someday.
at the same time i really don't like her. now don't get me wrong people of the web wide world. i appreciate what dip is doing for my kind. at the same time she is really mean. frankly i don't really like mean people (or dinosaurs... does anyone?).anyways i'm way off tangent. point being that now dip is hanging out with my boss ms. rhonwyn, and their working on sciency type stuff together (though what sort of science ms. rhonwyn does is beyond me). i don't like it. with my brain size problem, and dip being more legitimate i am going to level with you people of the innerweb that i'm worried that ms. rhonwyn won't have a use for me anymore. even despite her offering me a promotion today.
right the promotion!
so ms. rhonwyn had taken me away from dip and the other aussie dinosaur of the melbourne museum to the human half of the gallery. here she wanted to discuss my future. or at least that's what i thought at first... it turned out she more wanted to wrap up the museum quest once and for all.
she brought me to a display of aboriginal australian baskets... but i at first glance i thought they were maori flax baskets... or as the new zealand brand are called kete among which were the kete o te wananga which i'd carried all around new zealand...
seeing these i kinda freaked a bit! i was SO not going on another museum quest!!! no matter what she offered me, i was going to tell ms. rhonwyn i quit that instant. there was no way i was going to be hunted by anymore angry deities EVER (so i hope anyway...).
ms. rhonwyn just laughed when i refused to transport any of these baskets. "no, no silly," she giggled. "the kete o te wananga are gone for good thanks to you. there will be no more quests like yours ever again."
"have there been any before?" i wondered out loud.
ms. rhonwyn frowned a bit at the question as though i'd hit a sore point... seriously i hadn't meant too. seriously! "no," she answered simply, which answered my question, but ms. rhonwyn sounded as though she thought this wasn't enough for some reason. she took in a slight breath thinking of how to answer further. "the truth is though, traumador, there should never have been a need for your quest. if the kete o te wananga had been left in the care of the maori as tane had intended then none of this year's debacle would have occurred."
"though we don't understand the exact timing or nature of their origin, the kete o te wananga appear to indeed, as the legends say, be the source of all maori mystic knowledge. whether how they ended up in the possession of the maori as described in stories may well remain a highly debated question among mystical scholars. all we do know is that somehow three immensely concentrated chunks of mystical gradient essence were endowed within three flax kete with the purpose of fostering and powering maori magics."
"wow," i said impressed. that was cool. somehow in the distant past the maori had taken pure magic from beyond our world and trapped it in something they had made to harness the power for their betterment and use. normally a story like this would have been a bit above my head, but somehow i already knew the story... i'd touched this power first hand so in a way i was now a part of this story... the end of it.
ms. rhonwyn took my comment to be a sign of boredom or something and changed her train of thought. "anyways," so i'm not the only one who can go off topic like that! "as the maori's culture succumbed to european expansion into the country, eventually the three kete were acquired by various new zealand museums. the kete tuauri [basket of benign magics and the occult] was purchased in 1896, the kete aronui [magics beneficial to humanity] traded to the fledgling otago in 1900, and the maori successful hide the kete tuateu [basket of harmful and "black" magic] until 1956 when the faithful guardians finally passed on with no heirs. can you believe in the end that one of the most feared artifacts of an entire culture was simply donated of all things?!?""with the kete out of the protective care of their creators the maori they simply sat on display or in collections across the country collecting dust" ms. rhonwyn grew sad, "a true waste. on all fronts. the maori had relied on them for centuries. so it was a real loss for them, and to the world's knowledge as we didn't learn a damn thing from them till it was too late."
"the whole time they leaked and oozed their high level mystic gradient radiation. under the watchful eye of a tohunga [maori shaman] these residues would have been contained and hidden. we idiots of the west just held onto their treasure because that's what we do. hold on to treasure. never bloodly learning why it is treasure! i thought i'd made the discover of a lifetime last year when i connected the three spread out baskets to their true identities."
ms. rhonwyn turned to me sympathetically. "my own quest to find the baskets was why i was away so much of last year."
"of course i did this only to find out that they were being sought by things of a otherworldly nature, and more than likely not too friendly a disposition."
"as you now know traumador, you leave a trail of mystic gradient radiation lying around, and something is going to pick it up. i realized quickly that the baskets were no longer safe in our realm. if they were to fall into the hands of mystic creature in our dimensional plane the results could be unimaginable," she cautioned. though i could imagine it. i'd seen ghostbusters, and i had nothing with which to cross the streams! "the only solution was to re-disperse them to the magical realms from which they came!"
"there were tales among the tohunga of the ill effects of taking the kete close to places of great mana [maori concept of power and supreme presence]. thus why i had you go to the places you did. i figured either the locations of maori reverence or their artifacts of old might have enough power left in them to tigger the baskets."
"why me?" i asked.
ms. rhonwyn frowned, clearly feeling as though she'd let down more than me by not taking the baskets around NZ herself. "because i had no choice," she admitted. "the league couldn't make up its mind as to whether dispose the baskets before a threat or after."
"the league?" i asked completely confused and excited. did she mean the justice league?!? wow i soooooo wanted to meet superman!
crushing this hope of mine ms. rhonwyn looked at me puzzled for a moment. "the australasia heritage league," she declared. when it clearly didn't ring a bell she looked at me bewildered. "your current employer?"
"the otago museum?" i answered her with a unsure question. wasn't the museum who i worked for.
ms. rhonwyn looked more baffled than before. "you haven't worked for them officially since last year!"
"WHAT?!?" i thought and said at the same time... how could that be?!? i'd been getting pay checks from them this whole time... or had i come to think of it. apart from two pay checks i'd been out of town on the quest, and i hadn't paid (pun intended i guess) that close of attention to my checks at that point.
"traumador i only work out of the otago as my base of operations. my duties with the league take me all over the region of new zealand, australia, and further. as my personal assistant you're in the same boat," she informed me.
i was still reeling from the news i didn't work at the otago. "this league, they aren't top secret are they?" i asked expecting yet another palaeo central story with more things lurking in the shadows and everything...
"no hardly," ms. rhonwyn laughed. "its quite public knowledge that the various museum, universities, and other research institutions of the southern hemisphere have tried to work together to safe guard the various historic and heritage resources we possess down here. its just a question of how successful we've been."
"the kete being one the first of what will surely be, sadly, many challenges we have in this regards," she sighed at some unknown to me knowledge of hard battles and decisions coming up. "a clear issue like them, and the league has no idea how to react. that's the problem with noble intentions. they sound good till you find out everyone has different ideas and degrees of nobility."
ms. rhonwyn turned to me earnestly. "which is why i'm offering you this new promotion. you won't just be my reserve assistant anymore traumador. you'll be an actual field agent in the thick of new zealand's historic resources."
"you mean like a researcher?!?" i jumped in the air eagerly with excitement.
"well i wasn't going to mention that part till we had a chance to sit down and really figure this out. to be honest the league has no idea what it is doing. i forced this kete mission down their throats, and having been proven right i might be able to form more policy of a proactive nature. which might than allow me to get you in a few places you'd never think possible," she answered me smugly, but cautioned. "at the same time that is a big maybe. i've got a few things to sort out, and you have a lot to learn in the meantime. for now i just need to know traumador, are you able and ready to take a more active role in the finding, collecting, and protecting of ancient materials?"
it was a dream come true. maybe all this exposure to dip wasn't such a bad thing after all! "you bet!!!" i nearly shouted with excitement.
"excellent," ms. rhonwyn smiled. "well in that case i have some paperwork to process. we'll discuss your new position in depth, once i've figured out exactly what it shall be," she smirked. "in the meantime have a relaxing evening. i hear you have a BIG day ahead of your tomorrow," she winked at me and started walking me to the door.
tomorrow was indeed a big day! i had my date with lillian albertosaur!
not just that now my career within the museum world might actually take off and lead somewhere! instead of looking forward to being just another attraction i might actually get to be one of the thinkers of the research world!
i won't lie people of the web wide world, today i feel like anything is possible!