Title: Tactical Maneuvers- Part deux!
Chapter Title: Fear Not
Summary: Some weeks after the return from Washington, Jed and Octavius get into a bit of trouble concerning the air vents at the Museum. Trapped in a maze of metal catacombs, and out of reach of Larry's net, it's up to them to find their way out.
Notes: Well with all the wonderful and kind reviews, I guess I should post a sequel. But, my mind went haywire, and this will NOT be the final installment. >:)
Research: There are a few bits in this chapter that I had to look up and do some looking for, so here's a bit.
Senet- An ancient Egyptian board game with 7 pawns(sticks/knucklebones), and 30 holes on the board, 3 rows, and 10 columns.
Ouija- A boardgame based on luck with which to tell the future.
The museum was back to it's good old self. No hologrammed versions of Teddy Roosevelt, no manic Museum Director flying off the handle, the museum had acchieved a level of Nirvana during it's day hours that was simply joyful.
At least, that was, during the day. With it's extended night hours, 6:15pm to 8:45pm, the citizens of New York were given a glimpse into the fruitful night life of the Museum. True, many believed it to be merely actors and animatronics, but anyone who had true insight into the nature of the building knew the truth.
Because at exactly six o'clock each night, exactly fifteen minutes after day hours were done, the Museum came to life. Which is where our story, begins, in the Hall of Miniatures, one such night, after the patrons had left and the residents of the Museum began their lives.
Attila and his Huns gathered with Ahkmenrah, the Pharoah for a game of Senet, or Ouija, Theodore Roosevelt could often be found chatting with a giggling Sacagewea, while Columbus brought it upon himself to teach the Neanderthals speech, and Larry Daley walked the halls, doing his rounds and talking with the inhabitants.
But beyond all of that, was the Hall of Miniatures.
And that is where this story begins.
"Jedediah, slow this thing down! We will crash!"
"No way! We ain't sped up much in weeks, what's it matter iffen we go a little fast?"
Octavius sighed, frustrated, but at his companion's glee, he merely smiled resignedly. Once they had become friends and rectified their differences, Octavius had begun to appreciate, nay, even enjoy Jedediah's sense of... well, fun. He was amused and genuinely happy at simple things. Going excruciatingly fast in the small racecar, for example.
Octavius would not have been as worried if it were not for Rexy chasing them. Certainly not, he was used to the giant skeleton loping after them, but not at this speed. It was intimidating, at the very least. So, unable to persuade his friend otherwise, Octavius merely sat back in his plastic seat, one sandaled foot placed on the dashboard of the car.
"What is it about speed that gets you, Jedediah?" the small Roman asked as they careened past the Easter Island head.
"Eh? Oh, I dunno, guess it's the thrill! You've ridden a horse, ain'tcha? Wind whippin' through your hair, gotta hold onto your hat to keep it from flyin' off an' all that. S'like that, only a lot more!"
"I suppose so, it is very thrilling, faster than any Chariot I have ever raced."
Octavius pondered in his seat, thinking about Jedediah and his love of all things speedy, and perhaps of things that had occurred two years prior, until a massive roar was heard from behind them.
"Jeeeesus! What's got that daggum Dino all in a bunch?"
"Huh?" Octavius twisted in his seat to peer out the back, and was met with an unsettling sight; Rexy was running full-pelt at them from the middle of the hallway, head down and tail straight as a rod, before leaping at them and grabbing hold of the bone in his jaws. The Dinosaur threw his head back, and there was an audible snapping twang as the car broke from the bone.
The inside of the car was a tumble of confusion and colors. Octavius could see nothing except the spinning interior, and heard nothing more than the whoosh of air and Jedediah yelling. In the distance, he heard Larry, followed by the T-Rex's whining roar.
"BAD REXY! BAD!"
And that was all he heard.
In some odd movement of fate or Karma, the car bumped into the wall hard enough to snap the top off the little racer, and land upside down right on top of a ventilation grate, and the two miniatures tumbled through the grates, falling into nothingness.
Larry jogged his way to the car, inspected the crumbled wreckage, and peered down the chute with his flashlight.
"Dad, I don't see them..."
"They're down there, Nicky, go into the storeroom and get me some rope and a screwdriver, then run over to the Diorama room and recruit a few of the Miniatures to go down and see if they fell out of view, okay?"
Larry peered down into the duct again. "Jed! Octavius! Are you two okay?" he listened, but heard nothing.
Octavius had never cut himself before, any injury he had ever sustained had been mainly bruising. He saw now that he bled, or perhaps did not... It sure felt like he was bleeding, but he was made of a wire skeleton and paper mache body, painted and made to look real. Looking down at his body, he was in fact bleeding, and he was struck with sudden, intense confusion.
Why did he bleed? Where was he? When had he gotten here? Where was Jedediah?He lifted himself up into a sitting position, feeling immensely sore. He took account of his injuries briefly, there was a cut on his waist, it appeared, various minor cuts on his legs, and a spider-webbing of blood from his elbow down to his hand.
When did he become able to BLEED? Well he had never been cut so... he shook his head. The Tablet did many strange things, he assumed, or perhaps the Gods had deemed it so.
He glanced around, a beam of light shone from some inches away, feet to him, and several inches closer to it lay Jedediah, also battered and bloody. He scrambled to his feet, and landed beside the cowboy.
"Jedediah? Jedediah, my friend, awake! Are you alright? Wake up!" he shook the man, leaning his ear on his chest, feeling a beat. The pulse of life that the Tablet gifted them, not a heartbeat, merely a pulse. He was alive. Relief flooded the Roman, so much so that he suddenly felt dizzy. He laid Jedediah's head down on his lap and looked down at his friend. "Fear not," he mumbled. "Fear not."