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I'm in the Radisson Non-Euclidean Hotel near Heathrow, for Eastercon. It's a hotel with a refreshing lack of regard for conventional physics in the architecture - bits of the building go through other dimensions and/or one another, and the corridors are based around a Moebius design.

The highlight of the convention for me so far has been the Creativity Workshop, wherein we listened to a beautifully short, coherent and worthwhile talk on creativity, then did some exercises which were actually fun, then put together a television series with a budget of £370,000 for 16-34 year olds on BBC3, in an hour. I learned quite a lot and I had tons of fun.

There have been a few, a very few familiar faces around, including Tlanti who made a really clever chain of Daleks which I have given to small room mate. Room mate was delighted at them and has them on prominent display - I wish Tlanti could have seen her face on them being unfolded.

I got Pol a present then totally forgot to actually give it to him, but he's at the Dr Horrible Singalong and it would have got in his way. I've got to go there shortly anyway to give Penwing his money back that he very generously handed over so I could have dinner. Wendy told me about Warrington's police tweet, which sounds very worth following, but I can't remember the name of that tweet account. Warrington police are apparently doing a remake of Heartbeat on Twitter.

I have quite the bad migraine this morning and may have to write off all the panels. In theory I go and visit someone new at 4pm, so I hope I can go to that. However, it's a nice room in a nice hotel and I am pretty happy. I will probably spend the time getting my teen sim hooked up with a nice girl so he can marry her when he ages up and have the next generation of my sim breeding programme.
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The prompt:

Somehow- don't care how- Sherlock ends up in Lancre, meets Granny Weatherwax, and much sniping ensues.
Bonus points if Nanny Ogg flirts with John, and cookies if Human Greebo does.

Obviously, this is only a beginning. I would like to take it further.


Sherlock frowned. John noticed it when he glanced back over his shoulder, away from the landscape, to see if the man was all right. He was, of course. John tried to relax. Nothing had changed in several minutes and if the rabbits were feeding, everything was probably okay. For now. He studied Sherlock's face, again, looking for twitches, dilated pupils, suddenly grown horns, anything unusual. The man was standing like a statue, one that had been lovingly carved from alabaster and set with eyes of cold steel. The detective had been moving around a lot earlier, providing empirical evidence that the clearing was not covered in landmines, while John had watched in a cold sweat. He was having flashback to the Balkans, which was stupid because he'd never even served in the Balkans, but something about this busy, quiet mountain woodland was getting to him. For one thing, when he'd opened the door and stepped through, he'd expected it to open into an office in Cheapside. Not bloody Narnia. They'd crept through a dark corridor and stumbled into a lovely, mossy clearing full of bright sunshine and startled rabbits. They'd already been here long enough for the rabbits to have been back a while. Sherlock's investigations had been thorough, and then they'd stood. Without moving. For ages.

'John.' The voice was quiet, a deep rumble that disturbed nothing but Dr Watson's gut. He had nobody around him, no mates being the eyes in the back of his head, and nothing overhead. No gun, either. Whatever new menace Sherlock had seen, it eluded him. 'What?' he said in a low voice that would not carry far. Sherlock turned and gave John one of his brilliant, brilliant smiles, one that could take almost anyone and curl their toes for them, and John very nearly hit him in the mouth. He was protecting them both, looking out for things that would kill them so he could kill them first, or at least push them both behind a tree, and Sherlock, oblivious to any danger, was making conversation. 'Do you remember when I said that, once you eliminated the impossible, whatever remained, however improbable-'
'...Must be the truth. Yes. I remember.' Watson thought he was doing really, really well with the calm reply, and the lack of any sort of screaming, waving or pounding the smug git's face into a red pulp. He liked Sherlock a lot, he really did, but the bastard was here in fuck knows what land, and he was utterly failing to be a soldier. And John had had some sort of weird attack, about ten minutes after they arrived, where he'd suddenly felt like he was asleep and someone else was looking out of his eyes and then, for some reason, rifling through his own personal dictionary. Words he didn't know he knew had resurfaced, next to clear images. Plangent, sussurration, tourmaline. He'd put it down to hallucinatory drugs, but the feeling had passed, leaving him feeling oddly alone. John needed his army pals around him just now, and Sherlock was failing him. Beating up the civilians was not part of his training, though and he stayed quiet and outwardly calm.
'I may have been wrong,' Sherlock said, bringing John sharply back to the present. He waved a hand - and nobody shot it, and the rabbits were still munching, although one was now staring at them both quite intently. They were probably safe. Stranded in the middle of fuck only knows where, but safe for now. He hadn't been this nervous as a soldier, he was sure he hadn't, but this pleasant, calm, wide, huge mountainous scene in a small office in Cheapside... well, it was getting to him.

Sherlock coughed, getting John's attention in an obvious way. 'I said,' he intoned, 'I may have been wrong. I'm not boring you am I?'
'No,' said John immediately. 'I... was just admiring the scenery. Pretty, isn't it?'
'Pretty... yes,' said Sherlock, not quite getting the point. 'But clearly impossible, and we've neither of us taken drugs, nor is this virtual reality. We cannot eliminate the impossible, because it is clearly happening. That rabbit is acting oddly, don't you think?'

That rabbit gave almost a guilty start and went back to munching grass in a very rabbit-like way. It then shook itself and lolloped away from them, while a small bird swooped to a branch above them and looked down, peering with one eye and then the other in the way that birds do. 'No,' said John after some thought. 'Anyway, what would you know about rabbits? You live in London.'
'So do rabbits,' Sherlock replied, watching the bird watching them. 'All over the place. Parakeets as well.'
John looked at the bird. 'That's not a parakeet,' he pointed out.
'No, it isn't. It's a small woodland bird which probably lives on pine cones. Let's go down to the stream.' He set off, leaving John to hurry after him and causing the rabbits to bolt. The bird, obviously startled, whizzed ahead of them, landing safely on a thin, whippy bough on the other side but still within earshot... Now, why had he thought that?

A chill ran down John's spine as he realised that they were being watched. First by the rabbit, then by the bird. The animals all looked real, with all the small detail that was missing in dreams. Animatronics? But far beyond anything he'd seen anywhere, and there were insects everywhere, filling the air with a slow, continual buzz, so if someone had wanted to use bugs, they could have used, well... bugs. Or had quieter insects, or something. And the place smelled like mountains. Damp soil, pine needles, fresh air, rabbit piss, grass and water. Eagles or something were circling in the distance. Sherlock was right; this wasn't any sort of virtual reality. He looked back at his colleague, who was poking at the stream with a stick and watching the swirls. 'Find somewhere nice to sit,' he commanded, which John thought was bloody typical, even as he looked around. 'There,' he pointed. 'Two rocks and a nice, clear view that doesn't put us against the sky.'
'We'll need three,' said Sherlock over his shoulder. 'See what you can pick up.'
'Three?' asked John, hurrying after. 'Why three? This isn't bloody Mycroft, is it? You said it wasn't a virtual reality and I think you're right. There's too much... everything.'
'Three,' said Sherlock definitely. 'Or you can stand. I know I'm not one for formalities, but it would be rude to make a perfectly harmless old woman out gathering wood stand there like a servant, don't you think?'
This statement brought a 'tchuk' noise of disapproval from the bird. It scolded and flew away landing...

...landing on the hand of a perfectly harmless looking old woman, who probably was out gathering wood. John was absolutely positive she hadn't been there a second ago. She had a rough heap of twigs next to her, tied in a complicated way to a central stick which she was holding. The effect was of an over-engineered broom that had fallen down a mountainside at least twice. Her other hand was holding a lump of seed cake, which she was feeding to the bird. Harmless, except that her sapphire stare would have drilled diamonds. 'That's right,' she said in a flat voice and with a nasty little smile to follow. John couldn't place the accent. 'Perfectly harmless and out gathering wood. How thoughtful you are, kind sir.' The last two words shrivelled John's stomach. The bird flew away, calling a warning to anyone silly enough to hang around for this meeting.

Sherlock treated the stranger to a wide smile. 'Do, please take a seat, dear madam,' he said in his turn. 'How refreshing it is to just stumble upon someone out here in this foreign land who speaks perfect English.'
'That's what you call it, is it?' said the woman who had apparently stepped whole from a boulder. 'What sort of a place is Ingle, anyway? Cold and wet, I expect. But changeable.'
This remark startled them both. John looked at Sherlock, and Sherlock looked at John. 'Yes, it is a bit,' said John politely to the black-clad crone.

John mentally chastised himself for using the term, even in thought. Perhaps it was the... the large, black, pointy hat. Yes, that must be it. And the clothes which had seemed fine now looked worn in, with dirty knees on her dress and white hairs all over. The first impression, of an expensive black suit, had been entirely wrong. Which meant it probably was drugs. But Sherlock was real. It could be drugs and guided imagery, which was why Sherlock was seeing the same things he was. Logically, Sherlock could have been a hallucination as well, John supposed, except nothing John could dream up would be so breathtakingly arrogant.
'Your friend looks a bit mazed,' said the cro- the wi- the old woman. Sherlock waved a dismissive hand. 'Shock, probably. He thinks he's hallucinating, or insane. What do you want? This is a long way from London. Even Mycroft has never gone to these lengths.'
The woman sniffed. 'Don't ask me. I haven't summoned you. I know better. What are you, anyway? Your friend is human, but I'm not so sure about you.'
'Ye-es,' said Sherlock slowly, all warmth draining from his expression, as though it had never been there at all. He'd smiled for her benefit, and now he simply couldn't be bothered to smile any more. 'I'm not sure about you, either. You can hide in plain sight, but you're not a trained fighter. You're not a performer paid to play a part. You know this area very well indeed. You look like someone who works, and you do genuinely work - those are your clothes, not a costume, and the boots are at least five years old.'
'Seven years next Soul Cake Tuesday,' said the woman proudly. 'Made by little William's lad that had the trouble with his legs. He's grown into a fine cobbler. So, you notice things, do you?' Sherlock stared at her, very rudely, and John stepped in again, before she could explode. 'He does a bit, yeah.' She gave him a dismissive glance.
'Nothing's coming to attack us,' she chided in a no-nonsense tone which seemed usual to her. He still could not place the accent at all. 'Unless it's one of you. You look like a soldier without his weapon, but there's no sword callus on either hand, those are city shoes you're wearing, however odd they might be, and you smell strange. Oily. Like a dwarven workshop, except there's no grease on your hands.' She fixed Sherlock with that piercing stare again. 'I notice things too, and what I noticed is that neither of you belong here, and whatever it is you want, it's not nice. You smell like a mortuary worker, but you're as arrogant as a wizard. A necromancer?' Sherlock's look of affront was priceless. John saved it up for his own personal album of mental snapshots. 'Freak' was ignorable, but apparently there was actually a line that Sherlock drew, and necromancy was over the line. He realised Sherlock had gone thoughtful, his eyes on the bundle of twigs. 'I... make the dead speak, yes. After a fashion. I notice things, and then I find who killed them.' He leaned forward, his gaze intense. 'I'm not a murderer, Ms...'
'Ms nothing,' said the woman, insulted. 'Don't you Ms me. People call me Granny. Granny Weatherwax.'
'Sherlock Holmes,' said Sherlock Holmes. 'That man is Dr John Watson, he's a medical doctor. I'm not a murderer... Granny Weatherwax. Do people really call you that?'
'If they know what's good for them,' said Granny Weatherwax. John wasn't about to argue with that.

Surprisingly, neither was Sherlock. He asked, instead, 'What's the... thing, with the rabbit? And the bird?'
'Never you mind that,' said Granny. She gave John a glance which, if he'd allowed himself such flights of fancy, he might have imagined was guilty. He couldn't imagine what she had to be guilty about, if she hadn't summoned them. 'I do what's needed, and I want to know what you're intending to do here. I might have to take steps.'

Sherlock stood up, although if he was intending to intimidate Granny Weatherwax by his height, he was on a clear hiding to nothing. 'I intend to leave,' he told her. 'As quickly as ever I can. If you'll show me the way, you won't even know I've arrived.'

Granny gave him yet another hard stare, as if counting his transgressions. John, by now, would have been entirely browbeaten - actually, even with sideways glances, he already felt as though she'd been beating him over the head with a parrot-headed umbrella or something. Sherlock, naturally, was impervious as ever to any sort of stare or disapproval. Looking like a model from a fashion magazine, he waited imperiously for Granny Weatherwax to move. After a small nod to herself, she rose to lead the way. 'You'd best come with me. And if you grow a single new body part or try any funny business at all, I'll make you wish you'd never arrived.' She looked at John, full on this time. 'I suppose you'll want tea,' she said.
'Oh god, yes,' said John, suddenly warming to this strange woman. She wasn't all bad.
'Good,' said Granny Weatherwax with another sharp nod. 'When we get back, you can put the kettle on.'
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'Then hang him upside-down until he's dead -  )
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Their eyes should glance at no one else but me.' )
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So, yes, most people will know by now, but for those who don't, we got burgled last night. They took a variety of electronic goods, a laundry bag and a handbag full of knitting. I was alone in the house at the time and, while I probably did hear the burglars, I would have assumed that it was Pol or Random coming in to get something, perhaps to mend the car. The doors and television are loud, but anything else is muffled by walls and distance. Random and Pol lost things and are, obviously, very much upset and angry. I've been living in my room for months, and lost nothing.

I've found there's a surprising amount of Sherlock fanfiction, and the amount seems to be growing exponentially. Steven Moffat and Mark Gatkiss can count that one a success, I think. One or two of the stories are even plausible. Speaking of Sherlock, I was surprised to find out that Benedict Cumberbatch is actually the actor's real name. I am full of glee.

The amount of loud demands from Moth have dropped right off now that there's no chicken in the fridge. It seems clear that she does in fact know whether there's chicken to be had, or not. When I do have chicken, she just refuses to shut up until she has some. She's sitting next to me right now, in the cottage loaf formation, with a silly smile on her face every time I rub her eyebrows.

A couple of people have asked for more time to break the cipher I posted, while others want the solution asap. I am in two minds as to what to do. A compromise is to not post the solution until tomorrow. I think I'll do that.


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May 2014

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