I'm walking down a street at night in Manhattan with a stranger. We're talking about my going to 'Arthur'--he asks if I mean the play going on, but I really mean a place; a street maybe.
I'm in jail. Natalie convinces the jailer to let me go free.
Natalie and I are walking down another city street. I have to go to the bathroom, so we stop by an office building to ask to use it. The secretary directs me to an alcove beside her desk. As I enter, there's an insistent beeping alarm; I have to empty my pockets to pass through the metal detector. This bathroom doesn't afford much in the way of privacy; the walls only go about waist-high... In effect this 'bathroom' seems to be merely an extension of the secretary's desk. The toilet is under the counter, and rather than try to figure out the gymnastics required to utilize it, I instead fiddle a little bit with the PlayStation that's been set up there.
Driving along with the team, I notice we are passing my old high school. It's a whole story taller than it was last time. "I used to go to school there," I said. "I remember, the bad guy had his headquarters on the top
floor--only, I suppose it's not the top floor anymore..." I look back at the rest of the team, who're mostly younger than me. I suppose none of them even had baddies at their school. But then, our vice-principal was an odd guy.
So we go in, and look around the third floor; it looks alarmingly like a shopping mall. We take the elevator down to the second floor to the main room I was talking about. There's a large pillar-type setup here with mechanical doodads around and on it. The team looks confused, but I know the secret of it. I walk over to a little box on the pillar above what looks like an electrical outlet, and open it; there's a button inside that I push. A part of the pillar setup flips over and descends into the ground, to be replaced by the secret elevator.
"They always thought they were too high-tech for keyboards--" I begin, but the team patron walks over and opens another metal box on the setup and he begins tapping on a keyboard. "--that wasn't there before..."
I clamber into the secret elevator, which actually has more of a cardboard box aspect about it. It's rather small, but the team patron is able to go into it with me. As we descend into the basement, I remember that there's no controls on the elevator itself; we'll have to take a different way up.
The basement is dark and gray... Nobody has been in here in a long time, it seems. Piles of boxes of junk are stacked all around. We pass through the elevator room to a room with more junk and a large ramp that goes up to the ceiling. Behind it is a small closet. "I remember--we used to come here and sit and drink stuff." I pull out a box of colas from the closet. "Oh yeah--the way out." I begin clearing stuff from in front of the low end of the ramp, which doesn't touch the ground. As the space is cleared, some mechanical apparatus underneath it begins automatically setting up the rest of the ramp.
I hear someone. Nobody should be able to come by here, but indeed someone comes in from the elevator room. It's not someone from our team, and he looks familiar even though I haven't seen him before. His name is Eric (sounds like -ARR-ic-). Wait! He's not any ordinary person, he's one of the guarding spirits than can help our team! I think of one of the younger members who is having trouble with the one who is helping her now. I ask Eric to come with us, and he does. We take the ramp out.
Team headquarters. I recognize Eric (he seems to go by the nickname 'Teg') sitting at the kitchen table and arguing with a couple of the other guarding spirits, a couple of women. One of them tells Teg to just buzz off, and he disappears in a huff, with a small flash of white light.
But this is bad. The lady who yelled at Teg, half her head is missing. The other one arguing with him, her arm is gone. Teg has taken something from everyone in the house. Everyone clambers down to the main room as best they can to plan what to do next...
The white cat looks up at me and I am amazed; nobody has ever spoken my name so beautifully before.