Ep. 009: Reappearance transcript

NARRATOR: Mana-pitch. Centuries ago, we built a city on this coast to exploit a vast underground supply of it: a black, viscous raw material we refine into powerful mana gems.

Soon after, the city became a magnet for unlikely events known as “glitches”, and improbable people called “glitchers”. Eventually, most citizens came to call Manapitch City by a new name…

We present Managlitch, City of Accidental Wonders. Do try to keep your aura clear, citizen.

GLENN 755: Glenn SevenFiftyFive here: once again zed-frequency twenty-three-oh-eight is all ours, and that means another Managlitch City Underground is all yours! Broadcasting by net, infotower, and data-scry every open period, we’re here to help *you* stay grounded in the City of Accidental Wonders.

It’s pouring outside tonight, the 21st of Clearlight year Seven Hundred and Fifteen. The evening’s cool, the rain is clear, the clouds obscure Nibiron, and I have cupcakes; so it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t pounding down like this. Luckily, I stay pretty dry walking around if I tune my mana barrier just right – though it gets a bit stuffy in there. But be careful: we’ve been hearing reports of some flooding. The banks of the Manapitch river are always iffy in this weather, so watch it if your home or business sits in a lower-lying area.

Now then: we have a further report from the Manapitch Aurametric League about the mysterious stone pyramids found along that same river! They haven’t released the report, but we’ve seen it anyway. As mentioned, Mr. Thurms and a few special friends brought one of those pyramids into the city. So: they’ve had crypto-linguists banging their brains against the carvings on it ever since. After a lot of work, they’re saying the carvings slightly resemble symbols that may have been used in records dating back over a thousand years ago. Of course, it’s hard for them to say for sure, since history itself around Managlitch can be a little hazy. One day, the legends say King Bazalthor the Fourth was beaten to death with a lead pipe by his butler; then a few quiet glitches later, they say he was strangled in his sleep by a chambermaid with a well rope. Modern gem storage resists that kind of thing much better than ancient documents do, but… where was I? Oh, yeah, the carvings.

Anyway, at this point they’re thinking that many of the carvings are solely there to control and redirect etheric flux across metaplanar lines. Yeah, Nikolen Weber also talks like that when you get a drink or two in him. So it’s like magical circuitry that collects energy, and puts it somewhere else. That may be why the pyramid is so free of phimesor… it could be some sort of filter, which would explain Thurms’ interest. Also, they think one group of symbols might say “Ether Dominion”, which could be the name of a government, or part of the focusing spell. Slippery Adam wants to name a band that. Whichever it is, you know the brain trust over there is really enjoying this puzzle. We’ll bring you more as we find out about it, and hey: we still hope that poor Chen Jorten is okay, wherever she’s vanished to.

We have Captain Jahmest Wecyi in Managlitch this week with her beat-up class-2 ethership full of Ash for the city’s reactors. We don’t often see non-humans here in the City – not counting crashers. And, it’s a rare treat to see an Ecksmurian willing to brave the risks of glitching! They’re generally sensible orderly folk who like predictability. No one’s ever called Wecyi sensible, though. The Ministry of Order has been sure for years she’s a smuggler, but they can’t pin anything on her. She does her business, plays tourist for a while, and then heads back out to her deep-space wanderings.

Have to say, she must have been doing well recently. Her ship, the Lavender Oboe, is in the docks getting a full paint and polish treatment. Wecyi herself’s been seen in the fashionable streets of the City getting her head tentacles neatly trained, and buying some flashy new threads. If she brought anything from the Empire of Ash besides reactor fuel, someone wanted it enough to pay through the nose! The Ministry trumped up an excuse for an inspection as usual, and didn’t find anything as usual, so she’s free to have her fun. Let’s make the lady feel welcome until we can find something really juicy on her. Then we’ll welcome her even more – she’ll really fit in around here!

She should be pretty safe from demons, anyway: a few weeks ago, it took us all night to find one crasher, and it looks like there’s a reason for that. According to an anonymous source from the Ministry of Order, patrols have been finding impossible corpses all over the city, in back streets and empty buildings. Artema’s demon hunters are keeping the city so clean that few citizens report attacks or injuries. We’re having more problems with cryocaine junkies than we are with crasher incidents, and almost no one’s fool enough to hit that stuff any more.

It’s nice to walk down the street with no more worry than usual; I won’t deny it! But we’re seeing an efficient, well-equipped, well-trained vigilante force in the City that’s more effective than our own police. Okay, yeah, faint praise. Still! I’m concerned, cohorts. No, no, wait, I’ve got it! We’ll kick out the Ministry and replace it with the demon hunters! Gotta be an improvement, right? Sure would spice up the City Council meetings a bit. There we go, problem solved by the Managlitch City Underground Political Reform Committee: a Limited Lucidity Partnership. Copyright seven-fifteen, all rights reversed.

Wow, how much sugar was in those cupcakes, anyway?

Uh, Princess Swiftstorm popped up for an unpublicized appearance at Chavdar’s Daughters Elementary! While there, she entertained the assembled students with a virtual reality tour of the Royal Palace public areas, and answered the kids’ questions about the life of a Princess. She again wore the cybercasting rig we all saw at that press conference a while back, and she demonstrated a great deal of control over it. She even produced a finely-tuned beam from the thing to pop balloons and light a large candle. You could tell by the end there wasn’t a little girl there who didn’t want to be a Princess with a huge expensive house, a beautiful gown, and the ability to throw coherent energy from her hands. Pretty sure more than one of the eager-faced little boys would have been willing to give it a try, too.

She’s clearly still selling the rig as the explanation for her casting, as opposed to any kind of glitch. My sources say the rig did seem to be doing something besides just glowing for special effects; but, on the other hand, she’s been even more vocal recently about glitchers being valued citizens of Manapitch and people with families, jobs, and friends. Yeah. Guess two out of three ain’t bad. … Point is, the jury’s still out whether she’s glitched or she’s been a closet cybercaster for years. Prime Cybercaster MacAllen still has very little to say on the matter when questioned by the few people who can get away with it.

You can probably guess which way I lean on the question. I may be a bit biased since I don’t have a fancy technomagical fashion item hanging off my shoulders. I may not be able to blow up a rune portal, but I can cast flame and volts and ice and even do one or two other things you don’t need to know about right now. I didn’t ask for that, you know! I didn’t study under special tutors for ages, I didn’t get an Encyclopedia of Spells for Sunbottom’s Day. The world just one day decided I should be a glitcher, and boom. Literally, boom. And life just went on as normal, right? The pitch it did. This city goes off the rails two or three times a month, and we all get a good laugh; but sometimes it’s a HUMAN BEING who ends up different, just a little changed, and everyone’s so polite and understanding while they suddenly remember they have to be somewhere else, or they ask you to leave so you don’t disturb everyone else, or because you’re just not… not anymore… you’re not…

Pitch.

Um… ahem. I, uh. Um, yeah. Ah, anyway.

So, uh, on the earlier subject of the Ministry looking for things: some of you may remember the disappearance of the group from the Glitchbusters video stream. Last week they set their sights on the Ven Haderol building, one in the Old City district that’s been there for centuries. Stories say little tiny glitches happen there almost every day, and the Glitchbusters went to investigate. They set up their sensor equipment in one of the upstairs boardrooms, and ordered several large pizzas. Then, when the food delivery person arrived… the room was completely empty… they were GONE. Investigators found no trace of them in the room, either physical or etheric. OoooOOOOOooooo!

Well, the guards on the room heard a sudden commotion this morning, and the doors flew open to reveal the Glitchbusters team, wanting to know what was taking so long with the surt-covered pizzas! In the following flood of questions, the team insisted they’d only been in there a couple hours, distracted by their equipment checks until they started getting hungry. All their equipment was right where they’d set it up, and none of them could be convinced a week had gone by until they looked at the network time on their scry-phones. I have a feeling they’ll be doing an upcoming episode about themselves.

Oh, and we haven’t been able to confirm this; no one seems to have recorded it, but someone told us that as they got into their van, one of them looked at the sky during a break in the clouds and said, “Huh. Well, at least Nibiron’s back.”

Back?

While we all chew on that cryptic sentence, this broadcast is closing down for the night. With luck, the rain will move on soon; I’d like a few days of clear light to close out the month of the same name. Of course, the Underground transmits rain, shine, or any other weather that doesn’t cause a network failure! Keep an ear out for us 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, 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 Princess Swiftstorm. Episode Nine, “Reappearance”, was written by Michael O’Brien. Our theme music is “Crime of the Century” by Consortium 499. 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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