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! You know the place: zed-frequency twenty-three-oh-eight; and you know the time: right now for Managlitch City Underground! Broadcasting by net, infotower, and data-scry every open period: we’re here to help *you* stay grounded in the City of Accidental Wonders.
A uneasy cloud of tension seems to lay over the city tonight, the 10th of Sundazzle year Seven Hundred and Fifteen. The motionless moon Nibiron thinks malicious thoughts in the sky above us, ejecting plumes of angry orange Nibirite that seem as though they’re coming right down on our heads. Business is slow at the algae vendors, and people go about their errands in quiet, paranoid clumps of two or three.
I can’t seem to pin down the cause of Managlitch’s mood, cohorts. After all, those twisted, broken crasher demons haven’t been seen alive or dead in days. There’s plenty of tourist and official traffic through the rune portals and transbeams, so no hint of pique from any other of the Forty-One Worlds. Everything seems just fine, and yet… we’re all in a funk. I can’t even blame the heat that Sundazzle always brings. Sure, it’s hot out, but that’s just not it.
The heat’s certainly on Captain Wecyi, trader queen of the ethership “Lavender Oboe”. The Ministry of Order impounded her ship and arrested her for smuggling weapons from the Empire of Ash. Unbelievable! Sure, during their centuries of war the Imperials developed some of the deadliest hardware this plane’s ever seen; but that’s exactly why even someone as loopy as Jahmest Wecyi wouldn’t touch the stuff. You know what I think? I think someone at the Ministry, or on the City Council, needed some political brownie points. Our favorite Ecksmurian space merchant was just in the wrong place. However, if you’re as upset by this injustice as is a certain Liz ThreeNinetyOne, she’d like you to contact her with the passphrase “Free the Tentacles”. I have no idea what she’s planning, but I hope we see Wecyi enjoying the freedom of the City again soon.
I’m sure you all saw the story of the Refreshment Siege on the infotowers this week. The poor folks at the Red Royalty Beverage Company are still cleaning up the grounds of their bottling plant, and just because a deluded mob decided they were a front for the Crimson Pretender’s traitorous forces. Yes, the attack on the Rune Portals a few months ago is still strong in our minds, but come on! Red Royalty: Crimson Pretender? It’s just a drinks company, people! They’ve done nothing more offensive than sell exotic imported tea for a couple centuries at premium prices, with the Palace’s blessing the whole time! Nobody would abandon all those years of successful branding just because of some jerk in maroon battle armor. Pitch, this city’s been in a mood lately. Maybe we should pay the AetherFlight people to spray tranquilizer chemtrails over the City during their jetpack tours.
By the way, and they aren’t paying me to say this, you should *really* try one of their guided jetpack flights if you can. Managlitch is absolutely gorgeous with nothing between you and the cityscape but the occasional tendril of aura glow. When I –
SLIPPERY ADAM: Hey, man. Sorry to interrupt your fascinating story, but there’s a visitor outside. Wants to talk to you about something.
GLENN 755: Slippery Adam, what’s wrong with you? I’m live… and you know that, because you’re the one keeping the feed running…
SLIPPERY ADAM: Yeah, man, I get it. I’d have slammed the door on her, but she’s really determined to talk to you.
GLENN 755: “She”, huh? Well it doesn’t make any difference. Make her wait ‘till we’re done, at least.
SLIPPERY ADAM: Okay, man, but don’t blame me if Mistress Messiér bashes down the door in the next few minutes.
GLENN 755: Miss– … once again, you’ve left out the most vital part. I swear you do this on purpose. Pitch. Uh, well, we can’t leave dead air running: take over!
SLIPPERY ADAM: What? Me? Hey, man, I’m no broadcast star. What am I supposed to say?
GLENN 755: Just make something up! Or, here. Read this.
SLIPPERY ADAM: Uh, okay, man. *Ahem* Hello, everyone. Slippery Adam here on Managlitch City Underground. Uh… and now… the weather.
GLENN 755: (closes door) Hello, Mistress. This is an unexpected pleasure.
MISTRESS MESSIÉR: Believe me, I’m not here for a tour; and I won’t waste your time or mine. You may remember I made you a promise: a promise of information? Well, I’ve been studying that crasher we found down south of the Scar. Once I looked carefully enough and did some other research, a few disturbing facts revealed themselves.
GLENN 755: All right: you wouldn’t show up here just to tell me the crasher’s got a complete Euripides Zapnowski album collection. What have you learned?
MISTRESS MESSIÉR: For starters? We’ve all been assuming these crashers were created by the second Rune Portal explosion a few months ago. There are rumors of such creatures from the first Portalblast back in seven-oh-one, so the idea made some sense. But that’s not the case at all. These crashers were *made* from Unchanged humans.
GLENN 755: … Made? Someone has been creating these things and setting them loose on Managlitch City… on purpose?
MISTRESS MESSIÉR: Malicecasting. The cybercaster elite whispers old tales: rumors of rituals so powerful they glitched themselves out of existence, and techniques demanding a horrific cost to those who dare. I’ve learned some things lately, Glenn: enough to know that malicecasting isn’t just a story, and we’ve both been attacked by the results.
GLENN 755: Malicecasting… okay. Then who’s making this crop of crasher demons?
MISTRESS MESSIÉR: I don’t know yet. I have found out one more interesting thing: remember the troops in crimson armor who invaded just before the Portalblast? The army that reminded us all of the Crimson Pretender’s forces? Lots of them were never found afterward – not corpses, fragments, or even trace residues.
GLENN 755: Oh… oh. Wait. If someone planned this… if they were ready to send crashers all over the city the moment the ether got confused and twisted enough… then someone *expected* the Princess to blow up a Portal to cover up…
MISTRESS MESSIÉR: As I told you: you have no idea what you’re up against. To be fair, maybe none of us do. I’ll be in touch. Tell Slippery Adam that he gets away with patching us into the live transmission this time, but only because I wanted your listeners to know anyway.
GLENN 755: *strangled noises*
MISTRESS MESSIÉR: Goodbye, Glenn.
GLENN 755: (door) Slippery Adam… you… freaking… surt-covered… ! No. Don’t. Say. A. Word. Just give me back my chair.
GLENN 755: (door) Hello, cohorts… and I’m sorry about that. That’s a whole lot of news to take in, and I guess for her own reasons, the Mistress wanted you all to hear it. Consider that carefully, before you act rashly or jump to any conclusions.
I mean, are any of the crashers our citizens? Does any sentient being, even the Pretenders’ troops deserve that kind of living death? And why would someone want demons roaming the streets of the city? If it’s all some kind of invasion plan, it’s pretty low-key. And who in the world would do such things?
I don’t know. If you hear something, say something. We need information; we need it soon. I don’t need to be a precognitive to be certain the City itself is the prize, and I think the citizens oughta have some say in the matter.
In less ominous news: for a while, it seemed some minor trade tensions between Terra-Epsilon and Managlitch might prevent our planned trip there next month. Well, they may have made it easier, since we’ll be hitching a ride with some elite negotiators who specialize in such situations. If you’re one of our Underground listeners out there on Terra-Epsilon, cross your fingers! I mean, I’m not sure how you’re getting the broadcast in the first place, but the ether does some funny things sometimes.
Now, I want you to know that we here at the Underground really appreciate hearing from you. It’s great to know that our little show makes a difference! But, uh, for that special admirer out there – you know who you are – I’m assuming the vicious little furry carnivore counted as fan mail? I have no idea why anyone would mail such a thing through the parcel service, but there it was. Nikolen Weber was in the studio when it arrived and nearly lost a finger to the little beast; but he says that was nothing compared to a crasher sitting on him last month, and he claims he’s now close personal friends with the furball. Yeah, I’m thinking he could use a few more friends with smaller fangs.
Speaking of surprising packages, onlookers got a good look at a few at last Friday night’s performance of Blazelander at the Manapitch Fire Opera. In the lobby of the opera house, as the audience prepared to leave, the whole crowd’s evening clothes flickered into transparency! Fear not: since Blazelander’s for mature opera lovers only, no youngsters viewed the sudden display of scanty undergarments. So, one more glitch in the big city, right? You’d think so, but someone joining the scene noticed that the color and cut of the undergarments in question were surprisingly well-coordinated. That’s right, everyone: the whole thing was a carefully-arranged viral publicity stunt by Wallingforth and Down, the clothing company. They’re lucky to get off without at least a heavy fine, given that the Ministry of Order’s certainly in the same irritable mood as the rest of this town. So, if you saw something you liked at the opera, go buy it! I mean, the underwear. Not the… ah… buy yourself a cute pair of Wallingforth knickers this weekend! Or don’t, really. No one’s paying *me* for publicity.
Speaking of undergarments… no, actually, I got nothing for that. It’s late and I’m tired; and after that little conversation with the Mistress, I’m not sure I want to be any more woozy than I already am, once I head out into the streets. So while I’m still reasonably awake, I bid you all a good evening. We’ll continue to pass rumors, secrets, and useless trivia to you all; and we’ll do it every 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. Lisa Thivierge appeared as Mistress Messiér; Slippery Adam was performed by Chris Griffith. Episode Ten, “Rumors of Malice”, 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. If you have questions about the world of Managlitch City, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may use them in a future episode. Visit Lisa Thivierge’s profile at linkedin.com. See Chris Griffith’s art portfolio at fineartamerica.com.
ANNOUNCER: Would you like to attend a live, interactive recording of the podcast? You should come to Intervention 2015, held August 14-16 at the Hilton Washington DC Rockville. We’ll have special guest voices and audience participation so you can join the cast! Intervention is the premier showcase of online creativity and is stuffed to the seams with experienced professionals and skilled amateurs, all there to help you strut your creative stuff! Register today at interventioncon.com.