Gilmour saw the man slump over through the control room glass, and for a few moments thought it was a great gag pulled by the engineer to express his admiration over the solo. He laughed approvingly and gave him a "thumbs up."
But the engineer's head had landed on the talkback button on the console, and he heard a faint voice simply say, "Help me," into his headphones, and then the talkback went dead. Something was very wrong. He unplugged his cable and ran up the stairs, into the control room.
By this time, the engineer lay on the floor, his contorted face as gray as slush in Chicago after a winter storm.
But the man was in a very odd position; he lay on his side, yet his arms were positioned in nearly a circle, in what he thought was almost a deliberate "O" shape. He said to the assistant engineer cowering in the back of the room, "Quickly, call a medic and then call Scotland Yard. Tell the Yard that I told you to call. Ask for Inspector Sky Fall. And when you get him, just say, 'Find The One.' Got that?"
The young man nodded, his face in disbelief.
Repeat what I told you to tell Sky Fall?
"Find The One," said the assistant.
"Good," Gilmour said. "I'm going to get moving. Remember what I told you."
And then he grabbed his iPhone, took a picture of the body, and texted a number. Anxiously, the younger man picked up the studio phone and started dialing as he was told.
Gilmour left through a side entrance to the building, and walked briskly to the silver 1972 Aston Martin Vantage he'd bought with the first of his "Dark Side of the Moon" royalties. The engine purred to life smoothly as he turned the key. The red leather interior was nicely broken in by years of use, but not worn out. The car was his baby. As he pulled away from Abbey Road, the familiar feel of the straight-six engine, and he felt good that he'd gotten one of the 71 made, with the old DB6 engine and wire wheels every time he drove it. But he did not consider himself a collector of cars. ;)
The scene back at the "All Nite" korean nail salon couldn't get much worse, or so Rango thought; "Sergio what're you doing? why do you keep looking at you phone? Linda has been spurting blood out of her neck for fifteen minutes! Are you calling 911?"
"Nah'" replied Sergio "I texted Doc Bill about the leprechaun and he sent me some risque "art" photos of naked women using PRS guitars to cover their good bits. I'm sorry, but sometimes when bad things happen I can only calm down by looking at sexy women or guitars, Doc Bill has saved me a lot of time by combining them for me."
"Really? let me take a look at those." Just as Rango had said it, the two men heard a clip-clopping sound drawing nearer, and nearer, and yet still nearer, and then even more near, until...
The beast stepped through the window, shards of broken and bloodied glass stuck to the soles of his heeled snakeskin cowboy boots. Sergio spent what seemed like an eternity fixated on those boots, they were like nothing else he had ever seen; obviously homemade and covered in old snakeskin tolex from an eighties Soldano SLO, they had heels fashioned from post '94 PRS 22 fret guitar necks, vintage flea market Nuge belt buckles had been hot glued to them, and they looked as though someone had buried them in the ground for a few years, no doubt as a reaction to their visual hideousness and strange fishy smell.
"Snap out of it Serg!" Rango yelled, "We gotta get out of here, NOW!"
Before the two men could leave the leprechaun pulled out a lasso made from his own red-headed knee-length hair and lassoed Rango's foot. He went down hard, smacking his head on the corner of a salon chair and immediately blacked out.
"Damn it," Gilmour screamed, "I hated that talking over the track crap when Waters did it, and he was technically my bandmate. Granted, sometimes I think he was in a different band than the one I was in, but that's beside the point right now. So what makes you think you, a bloody engineer, can just insert a 'Help me' into MY track and think it's going to be okay? On top of that, you did it into the talkbalk mic, so it didn't even get rec..." Gilmour stopped.
The control room was empty.
A mouse farted, but Gilmour missed that.
The Leprechaun was plotting his next move...
But, meanwhile, Bennett called Buck Dharma, whom he knew would enter the story as a subplot and somehow be figured into the arc...someway....somewhere....
While this was going on, a great Dave Gilmore solo was playing in the background...
Having posted little or nothing to do with the current story line, Bennett slunk into the corner, convinced that Opraman was another sign of age....he last saw Saturday Night Live when Sam Kinnison was guest hosting and John Belushi was pitching "Little Frosted Donuts".
Author to Author note:
Hey Alan, we have a story conflict going! I think we cross-posted while I was still editing.
Originally Posted by LSchefman
"Nick Mason has one of the world's premium car collections", Gilmore whispered to no one in particular, not realizing how jealous he was, as he continued to drive off.
So Les reared back on his haunches. His mouth stretched back toward his long tufted ears. It was an evil grin -- bearing a fresh set of fresh white razors -- claws raised high -- each pointing down -- hanging from his paws like black icicles.. It was a hungry winter and there was nothing boney to dull his grin. Bill's nostrils flavored exposing every gray strand. "You wouldn't dare" he snarled. But this pleased Les more than a Jersey shrink dressed as a meat-Popsicle. "A Chocolatecoco fence post would complete your look, Oppraman" be chuckled to himself. "As a matter of fact, Bill" Les replied as he snapped back to the moment "I would!"
Originally Posted by rugerpc
Les' ears pulled back and his brow tightened. His eyes opened wide. He was wild at the prospect of a bloody battle. But Bill knew something Les did not. He had a nickel .45 with pearl grips in his waist. But just when things were about to get good, in walked the Leprechaun.
Gilmour terminated the video feed from the studio control room into his dash display as he sped along in his Vantage...
Originally Posted by alantig
A New Jersey Shrink dressed as a meat-Popsicle. Thanks for that. A phrase I will never forget for the rest of my life.
When we were young, fooling kids we would make up our own "Mad-Libs" for fun....we were nerds. Anyway....somehow, the noun, verb, adverb and celebrity character turned out to read: "The Bloody Washcloth of Porky Pig". Two phrases I am doomed to remember for the rest of my life.
Back to the story.....
Doc Bill slid the pearl .45 from his waistband and put two straight through the brain pan of the Leprechaun. His dog Les, named after Ell Chefman, had been trying to warn him all along, not bite him. "I simply have to get that dog's teeth fixed," he thought to himself as he went through the pockets of the Leprechaun.
Pulling out a mix tape with the words "more cowbell" scrawled almost unreadably on one side, Doc Bill Ruger picked up the phone and dialed Hands Mantic.
"Hands, I repaired your pimp gun and was about to go to the range to test it when I had to drill a Leprechaun."
"Holy Goldtop! The Leprechauns are back?" Hands said instinctively reaching for his wallet.
"Yes, they are. Call Mike Three."
Bennett grinned an evil grin.
Chefman managed to just make it to the bathroom.
Doc Ruger stared at the neon Ravens sign.
The dog Les was asleep under the Roland drum kit.
Hands Mantic searched for his wallet.
Mike Three sharpened his scissors.
Rango lay passed out on the nail salon floor.
Sergio stared into the red bloodshot eyes of the Leprechaun.
The Leprechaun stared back.
Davy Knowles rolled over and kissed Autumn Sky awake.
A mouse farted.
Paul Reed Smith heard it.
As he raced along on the way to Heathrow, Gilmour heard his iPhone ring. "Gilmour," he said. The phone's display did not register a number, but Gilmour knew who the call was from. "Yes, M," he said, that text with the picture was sent to you within seconds of the man's death. No, I am not certain what the "O" shape means, but I have a suspicion I'm going to fly to the US to check on.. Yes sir, thank you. I'll report in once I have a better idea."
Gilmour took the leather gig bag with his new PRS from the cubby behind his seat, and grabbed a small Tumi suitcase. He slung the guitar over his shoulder, locked up the car, and walked into the airport. As far as onlookers were concerned, he was just another rock star. But he was in actuality 009 of Her Majesty's Secret Service, MI6.
And with his guitar in hand, he was licensed to thrill.
The mouse farted again.
"That damned mouse!" Paul muttered to himself. Pauls hearing was the stuff of legend, but this was a legend built on fact, not myth. From the tiny whisper of the mouse's guff Paul could detect exactly what breed - In this case a house mouse (Mus musculus). A small rodent, a mouse, one of the most numerous species of the genus Mus. he knew it's size to within a fraction of an inch and he could calculate from the reverbarations exactly which direction it was facing.
"South East. I've got you in my sights!" He whispered as he crept towards where he believed the mouse to be hiding.
As he got closer he suddenly realised something wasn't quite right. There was another sound accompanying the mouse fart. Clearly human.
"Come out now!" He growled. From behind a crate of neck blanks appeared the girl with the Dragon Guitar. Paul eased as he realised the girl was no threat.
"I'm sorry Paul. I know what's going on and trust me... You're gonna need me. By the way, can you sign the scratch plate?" "Sure." Paul said as he fished out a gold Sharpie.
Sergio was now face to face with the Leprechaun. Just minutes before he'd been thinking about his career. Few people knew he was also a prize winning author of high brow erotica. His previous trilogy of books (Which he wrote under a pen name) had gone straight to the top of the book charts. 'Fifty Shades Of Blanc' had sold by the millions and was on the verge of being made into a Hollywood film. It was an erotic story based on love, sex, desire and re-building and re-finishing a PRS guitar the lead character had recently aquired.
His latest series had run into some problems though. A mix up at the printers meant the latest novel had been titled Fifty Shades Of Chaltecoco Pernambuco. This had caused merry hell and had forced PRS Books to issue a press release setting the story straight. Thankfully that little issue had been resolved but he could have done without it.
Now he had other issues. He was face to face with the Leprechaun.
"I'm here for the lucky charms" it said menacingly....
After signing the girl with the Dragon guitar's scratchplate Paul placed a call To Gilmour.
"We're going to need 0010 as well. Call the Knopfler!!!" With that Gilmour placed the call.
No worries - we'll just explain it away with a trite parallel universes joining motif!
Originally Posted by LSchefman
Knopfler listened as Gilmour explained what was going on. "Hmmm...." He pondered for a moment and said, "Sound like you're in dire straits, mate."
Gilmour held the phone at arms' length as he shouted into the phone, "DAMN IT, 0010 - THAT #@% WASN'T #$#@ING FUNNY THE FIRST MOTHER#$&*(@@ 6397 TIMES YOU #$@(% WELL SAID IT!!!!" Gilmour paused and realized he had just done what no secret agent should ever do - he'd drawn attention to himself. Luckily, he was in a Starbucks filled with the self-absorbed, so the only person who noticed was a diminutive pink-haired lass who whispered, "My boyfriend can probably fix your problem." Gilmour just shook his head and pulled the phone back to his ear. He said, "I need your help, 0010 - I wish you were here." The pink-haired lass could hear the muffled sounds of outrage through the phone - she made a mental note to ask Paul about it later, figuring he'd probably heard it. Her thoughts were interrupted by Gilmour speaking into the phone, "Yeah, not so funny on that end, now, is it?"
Way to think, there, bro. Way to think!
Originally Posted by alantig
My long-lost evil twin taught me that!
Originally Posted by LSchefman
Ell Chefman got off the Russian helicopter that had ferried him from the airport at Vilnius, Lithuania to Lida, in Belarus, formerly Soviet territory. The helicopter ride had been a bit uncomfortable, but he was now where he needed to be to complete his research. Chefman remembered something he'd personally experienced, but had to return to the original documents to understand fully what had happened and why. And to find an answer.
Lida had been the scene of countless invasions for hundreds of years, where communities had grown and in turn been destroyed by wars, by Teutons, Poles. Russians, Tatars, Lithuanians, Princes, Dictators, and Khans. As such it was a treasure trove of European history. And it had secrets. One of them was the involvement of Belarus in the disposition of French Army POWs taken during Napoleon's Invasion in the War of 1812.
You see, in Lida's library were the Archives of Belarus. Chefman knew that the archives included "Lists of the French army POWs of medical ranks left with the wounded in the military hospital in Minsk, 12 January - 22 November 1813" as well as "List of the French POWs who died in the Minsk hospital. 8 April - 15 June 1813."
Chefman spoke with the library's director, and asked to see the manuscripts. As a lawyer, and a person who'd lectured at the University of Michigan, he was accorded access to them, accompanied by a library employee. As he sat with white cotton gloves on, so as not to damage the delicate paper leafing through the 200 year old contents with a magnifying glass, he found what he wanted.
His own name - or shall we say, a pseudonym he'd used while serving in the French Army as a Medical Officer - was on the first list of Medical Officer POWs. Searching the second list, of French officers who'd died in the hospital during this period, he saw his own from his faked death, but that was not what he was looking for.
He wanted to find something else, the name of the man who'd told him of a secret cache buried beneath the old 14th Century fortress of Lida Castle. He needed the man's name, and hoped for burial information, because he knew that his comrade of those days had been buried with a map inscribed on a gold coin he'd made Chefman place in his trousers before his death. Typically, the Russian captors had stolen the French boots, coats, and hats, primarily for their buttons and decorations, and the men were buried in their trousers and shirt. The coin had been cleverly hidden.
Chefman knew that all that would be left of this burial would be the skeleton and the coin, which being gold, would not decompose or deteriorate. Maybe there'd be a few buttons and fragments of leather. But how many other skeletons might be in the pit, on top, in other layers? It would, he knew, be like finding a needle in a haystack. And it would be on the outskirts of Minsk, where so many battles had taken place in 200 years.
But if he could find the burial, he could find the map. And the hidden secret he, and the world, now badly needed.
After several hours with the manuscripts, he believed that he understood the burial locations of several of the men, including his friend. He might get lucky. But he needed help. It was a bit vague, and the appearance of the area had changed radically in places over 200 years and several wars. But he had enough information for a good guess as to the location, if he could recognize the topography. He had been in many armies; he was very good with a map.
An awful lot of prisoner and civilian killing had taken place between 1180, when the area was first settled, and 1945, when WWII had finally ended. There would be much to sort through. There could be layers of mass graves.
He walked from the library to a nearby bookstore; in the Belorusian he dredged up from his now-200 year old memories. he called to someone behind the counter and asked, "У вас ёсць карта горада?". He was handed a map, and gave the woman at the counter a few rubles. He looked up and noticed that the woman appeared to be nearly fifty, but quite beautiful. He was taken aback, very impressed.
"Why do you want this?" she asked in English.
"Oh," he said, still somewhat startled by her appearance and fluency in English. "I'm a tourist."
"You don't appear to be much of a tourist," she said, "without a camera, or luggage except that instrument bag and a small backpack."
"Clean underwear and socks, a guitar, a pair of jeans, and a toothbrush," he replied with that grin that only Americans have. "I won't be here that long. I'm doing some camping."
"It's not that warm yet," said the woman. "Camping with no tent or blanket in only your underwear? That's not such a brilliant idea for a man your age."
Again with the "man your age," he thought. "Well, if I were young like you, I might get by then." He walked toward the door.
"You're talking to an old lady," she called back.
"Some old lady," he said. He left wondering if he could think of an excuse to buy another book, and went looking for a place to have a drink.
He needed to go to Minsk, and he needed some local help for the dig; he would also need to poke around Lida Castle when he got his hands on the map on the coin. It was not going to be easy. Belorusian laws about war graves were strict, and required academic permits for digs. This would have to be on the QT, because the chances of the authorities believing him as to the purpose of this wild goose chase would be less than zero.
In Vegas, Red Romen packed his gear with help from his semi-trusty if somewhat dim assistant.
"Take this RATCHET, moron, and put it in the bag. We're almost done. Hatchet."
"The hatchet, dolt, put it in the bag."
"Now latch it."
The sound of Red Romen's head bouncing off the ancient tabletop sounded much like a coconut being struck with a cricket bat.
In Maryland, Paul's head snapped to attention. "That wood! That glorious wood! I must have it!!!"
A mouse farted.
Paul picked up the phone. "Nutzall - put Beano on the next kitchen order."