Ep. 001: Underground Again transcript

NARRATOR: Since the Seventh Age began, our magicians have been refining the black, viscous, tarry substance called mana-pitch into clear grey magical gems of great value across the Forty-One Worlds. Almost as long ago, explorer-mages discovered a limitless supply of that raw material here beneath our fair coastline, and built Manapitch City to exploit their find.

But so much raw magic twists the very planes of existence, causing aura surges across the city and the citizens. The city filled with unlikely events and improbable people as reality seemed to… glitch.  Over the centuries, Manapitch gained a new name, known to all and used by most.

Welcome to Managlitch, City of Accidental Wonders. We hope you keep your aura clear, citizen.

GLENN 755: Glenn SevenFiftyFive here: you are hearing Managlitch City Underground, on a zed-frequency of twenty-three-oh-eight. Broadcasting by net, infotower, and data-scry every open period, we have what *you* need to know to keep your aura clear in the City of Accidental Wonders.

Today is the Sixteenth of Daywane, year Seven Hundred and Fourteen in the Forty-One Worlds.

So, Witchmonth and Harvestend were pretty bad, cohorts, thanks to the raids by the Ministry of Order. We could afford to lose the people they got, but it took a while to reassemble our equipment. Slippery Adam’s got a new dark-routing setup that got us back into the infotowers and psychobands. No way they’ll find us again.

And, the timing couldn’t be better: I’ve got some news for you that no one south of the Scar is cleared for. Now, The Council knows because they planned it; the Royals know because they agreed to it; and the Cybercasters sure as pitch know ‘cause they’re making it happen. Cohorts, the Rune Portals are OPENING again. That’s right, the Rune Portals that caused the Scar in the first place! Sure, the explosion killed thousands of people, cut a huge chunk out of the City, and rattled the planes around our little world for over a decade; but the City wants its trade partners back, so buckle up! Who knows: perhaps it’ll be just like the good old days, when you couldn’t light a cigarette around here without two protective amulets and a hectowatt aura screen.

Now I don’t deny that some of the Forty-One Worlds have been practically unreachable for years. Even transbeams and etherships have trouble getting safely to some of most remote stops. And assuming the City holds together, there’s going be lots of opportunity for a clever or lucky glitcher – once the Portals are back up. So keep an eye on your aura, and be sure to be in contact with the right people when the announcement goes public. Hey – if they’re going to blow the place up again, we might as well get something out of it this time, right?

Speaking of opportunity, on the Job Board today: Mistress Messiér’s throwing an event the evening after the Opening Ceremonies conclude. Any of her shindigs is a Night to Remember, and as usual the Ministry doesn’t dare shut it down ‘cause that would inconvenience some Very Important People. The Mistress is looking for especially interesting glitchers to help staff the evening; I expect she means physically interesting, though you never know. I’m just saying, I remember one night that she somehow found a dozen catboys and catgirls to… well, anyway. Expect a late night, and if things go well enough, a late morning!

Also on the Board, we expect Honorable Derek Verr from the Empire of Ash to arrive on the 5th of Colddark aboard the ethership Gorgon. No coincidence that’s a couple of days before the Portals reopen, ‘cause High Minister Sheaffer’s staff leaked the Council’s plans to select allies. The passenger list also includes Lord Timberlane of Placir, and more importantly some refugees from Terra-Epsilon who’ve been trapped on this side of the Forty-One Worlds since the Portalblast. My connection says one or two of the Terrans are hoping to take home… well, contraband’s an ugly word, but there’s no need for the Ministry of Order to know about this cargo. Get in touch with Verr if your personal glitch might be useful in such a situation.

The Zel Excursion Company eagerly anticipates our new portals, and is planning no fewer than four separate expeditions of scouting and exploration. They are looking for glitchers with body weaponry or other changes with a survival advantage, so don’t be surprised if things get a little rough. Meanwhile, rumor has it that the Cybercasters have a few ideas along the same lines – but if you plan to talk to them, I suggest you not go marching bold as brass into the Temple’s front entrance. You know how they are.

Speaking of the Cybercasters, we here at the Underground STRONGLY suggest you think carefully about accepting any work related to sabotaging or interfering with the reopening of the portals. Nobody in authority around here is likely to have the slightest bit of humor about the situation if you get caught. I’m not saying the Ministry of Order would disappear you – they insist they don’t do that kind of thing – but I wouldn’t expect to see you at Glitcher Bowling Night ever again. Watch yourself.

The Current Weird: as of four A.M., General Leitman Avenue now ends just past 28th Street in a sheer cliff overlooking the City coastline. Since the coastline is several kilometers away, this is quite a flagrant glitch. Ministry investigators traveling down General Leitman Avenue in the other direction report that it’s no trouble reaching 29th Street, but keep this in mind for today’s deliveries and transits – or if you’ve had a rough couple of days and could just use some sun and sand.

Kinson, our Underground aura forecaster, says the next week will be a grumbly, irritable one. Even if the Cybercasters weren’t cranking up their generators and saturating the ley lines, the planes around us know something’s up. Kinson’s got a glitch that lets him see right into them, and he says he’s not enjoying it much just now. Expect aura fluctuations and sudden surges up to thirty hermets’ intensity. Be very careful, everyone! We can all deal with the occasional tiny hassle of a pack of breath mints turning into small coat buttons or vice versa, but now is not the time to let your attention wander. There’s enough juju out there that a loss of focus on your part could mean more serious glitches; and if you’re listening to this station you probably are dealing with quite enough, thank you. The new geography downtown is probably natural and nobody’s fault, but keep those auras clear! No one needs to develop an extra arm during delicate business negotiations. Usually. Depending on the negotiations. … anyway.

On the other hand, it’s a great time to do some casting as long as you aren’t too picky about the precise effects. Right now, minor levitation of office furniture for vacuuming could toss that chair across the room! Oh, if you want something predictable, stick to basic tech; but who wants to miss the fun of a simple flame conjure taking down half the block? As long as it’s not your own place…

There’s some good news: despite the fluctuations, the City’s incoming shipments via ethership and transbeam are on time. Food, clothing, and other staple supplies are well over demand, even considering the usual percentage that somehow gets lost in the accounting. Prices should finally be dropping back to normal. Even glitchers on assistance shouldn’t have any trouble getting standard rations, and you hard-working ones with some income should be living hearty. We suspect Mistress Messiér used some influence; no way one of her parties is gonna be short on food. Anyone who’s helped clean up one of her shindigs knows that.

Our snoops tell us that production at the mana gem refineries has fallen off a bit, but no one seems worried. Prime Cybercaster MacAllen is telling the Council this is a simple slowdown for maintenance of the automated manapitch extractors. The shadow market expects gem prices will go up a bit, but not enough to push other prices around. The City reactors, meanwhile, continue to hum along nicely on fuel from the Empire of Ash. Whatever deal the Council made with them, everyone’s happy.

Her Royal Highness Princess Swiftstorm will be addressing the City the day of the official reopening of the Rune Portals, on the 7th. We don’t even need our sources to predict a long speech about the glorious future of the city; the usual call for Changed and Unchanged citizens to cast aside their differences and work together in harmony; and a few thinly veiled insults for the Council, especially High Minister Sheaffer. Honestly, as long as the infotowers have a good picture, who cares? Her Highness is as radiant as ever, and could stand there for an hour reading a telecom directory as far as half the city’s concerned. I know I’ve cleared my schedule for the cast. Long Live our Princess!

Whoa, Slippery Adam tells me this transmission window’s closing; we’re going to have to sign off. Never fear; we’ll be back next open period, broadcasting by net, infotower, and data-scry. This is Glenn SevenFiftyFive for Managlitch City Underground, shutting down zed-frequency twenty-three-oh-eight. Remember cohorts, keep your aura clear, and stay grounded.

ANNOUNCER: The voice of Managlitch City Underground today was Michael O’Brien as Glenn SevenFiftyFive. The narrator was Maya Kralovna as Her Highness, Swiftstorm the Second. Our theme music is “Crime of the Century” by Consortium 499, on the web at reverbnation.com/consortium499. All other content is ©2015, Glitch City Media. Visit our website at managlitch.com for more information about the City and links to our podcast archives.

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