MC 18: Moving Into Place
There was only the scent of rose and 'fresh ocean breeze' candles, the only noise from a recording of gentle ocean waves, and her own humming as she tried to calm herself. With Kent Lanomer dead, her acting career had just taken a brutal jarring, and might even be dragged to a halt. Few people would work with a pig, and while it was quite satisfying to chop them down or toss them through a wall, those actions didn't get her jobs. Closing her eyes, she tried again, "Ommmm... I don't know why this is supposed to relax meeeeee... ommmmmm..."
The tap at the door disturbed Miss Piggy's tranquil room. She opened one eye, glaring at the door. "This had better be good."
When the tapping repeated, she got up from her cushion, not quite stomping towards the door. After all, ladies should be graceful and elegant, and stomping was neither. The locks rattled as she opened them, and she flung the door open, prepared to shout whoever was bothering her into a humiliated retreat.
This plan changed when she discovered just who was tapping at her door.
"Kermie! How wonderful to see you!" She grabbed him, yanking him inside her apartment and shut the door behind him.
Flashing a dazzling smile, she asked, "What brings you here today?"
"I thought that I'd offer you a job," Kermit rubbed at his head, and sighed, "Scooter was trying to reopen the theater."
"I didn't know that he'd talked to you about it," Miss Piggy frowned, thinking back to her conversations with Scooter. Had he mentioned working with anyone? He hadn't mentioned Kermit, she would have remembered if they'd talked about her darling Kermie...
Kermit shook his head, and in a soft voice explained, "Reopening the theater was Scooter's last wish. Since he can't finish the project, someone else needs to do it instead."
"Scooter's last wish... is he... did he..." Miss Piggy gaped, trying to find a tactful way to ask what had happened to Scooter. He'd looked so healthy the last time they'd talked. He hadn't mentioned anything to her... "How did he croak?"
"Terribly off-key, but..." Kermit mumbled and shook his head, and then in a louder voice, "Scooter can't work on the project anymore. We thought that since he'd put in so much effort... Anyhow, I wanted to ask if you would like to come back to the theater."
A chance to return to the theater? To do the work that she loved, on a regular basis, with variety, with challenges, with such an assortment of co-stars... With her darling Kermie... There was really only one thing to say.
She squealed, "Ohhhh, I'd love to!"
Wesley stopped, looking at the bright poster on the wall of a brick building. It had strange faces with large eyes, it had clouds in several colors... and chickens.
He didn't want to know why there were chickens.
"Grand opening soon... the New and Improved Muppet Theater. Starring Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great, and Electric Mayhem. Featuring the talents of Rolf, Link Hogthrob, and Fozzie Bear. Effects by Mad harry and Muppet Labs? With special guests the Blinnikov World Ballet Corps?" Wesley read the poster, his sense of alarm and worry growing with every word. It wasn't helping that he knew he'd heard of that ballet company before...
He was cursing in twelve languages by the time he reached the former Hotel Hyperion.
While it was obvious that Wesley was furious, the fear was also there. What was less obvious was exactly what he was so frightened by - the idea of a permanent base of Muppets, or the chance that this would bring forth regular visits from the Count to this area. Perhaps both.
Wesley was half way to the back offices when he remembered where he'd heard of the Blinnikov World Ballet Corps. His cursing broadened to include Latin and Russian, and he started snarling for Angel to get his undead ass down here.
He knew that those Muppets were no good.
That night, Brentwood Hollows had a visitor. Unlike most, this visitor did not arrive during the day, when most of the residents would be awake and talking, if not always lucid. At midnight, most of the residents were asleep, though Mr. Anderson sat in a corner, shouting about agents, matrices, and the words Trinity and Nebuchanezzar. A few aides and nurses were awake, with the nurses filling out some of their paperwork and the aides checking to make certain that the residents hadn’t managed to get anything sharp or long enough to hurt someone. This visitor was short, with dark hair that had once been brushed back and now sticking up, dressed in very old formal wear, complete with a cape and a medallion, a monocle set over one eye. Perhaps the most alarming things would be his large fangs and purple skin. Or his lack of reflection in the darkened windows.
Moving through the hallways, Count vonCount could feel the weak barriers at the doorways to the private rooms. For most of them, he would need to pass through a residential barrier before he would be in a room, and that would make things more difficult. Quite sufficient to prevent most vampires from gaining access to the rooms, which would be a protection for the residents if they were actually in their room. Other rooms had no such protection. One day he would have to do a study to determine the cause of such inconsistency, it could be fascinating…
The front doors had opened after a mere three thousand, eight hundred and seven attempts, granting entry after he’d entered four-two-three, the ancient sphinx’s riddle. The code did leave him curious about the origins – was he dealing with a scholar of the classics, or was the code mere chance? Knowing that humans were creatures of habit, he attempted the same code at the doors to the section where Scooter Dee was held.
The fact that they opened to that code took much of the challenge from fetching Scooter Dee from this facility.
It was simple enough to cloud the mind of the nurse, who was more focused on her paperwork and a dreadful lack of coffee to worry about why someone who claimed to have transfer orders for Scooter Dee would be arriving so late, or alone, or without a gurney or wheelchair. “Yes, I assure you that the facility vhere Scooter Dee vill be transferred to is most secure. He vill not be vandering avay.”
He did have to shake off a well-meaning aide who asked one, two, three times if he needed someone to help him back to his room. “NO, I am not a resident, I am here to collect somevun. Thank you.”
“Scooter Dee, I vant to ask you a few qvestions about the new theater,” he spoke firmly, focusing his mind on Scooter coming to the door to speak to him.
“I have all the permits lined up, and I’ve been working on a schedule and list of guest stars…” Scooter came to the doorway, one hand clutching a fistful of papers, one showing a squiggle in green crayon. “Wait a minute, you aren’t the city building inspector!”
“No, but if I remember correctly, the Inspector is supposed to be there on Tuesday. Something about final viring inspections, and box seats…” The Count shrugged, seizing Scooter by the throat. “You vill not need to vorry about the theater. There vill be plenty to keep your mind busy.”
Having throttled Scooter into quiet, meek unconsciousness, the Count simply hoisted the orange Muppet over his shoulder and carried him towards the door. There would be plenty of time for them to have long discussions on the theater, and the many reasons why the Count was not pleased with Scooter Dee. Though since Scooter had been so worried about the theater, he would have to arrange something… Yes, he would make an arrangement so that Scooter could keep an eye on things, and perhaps keep a hand in as well…
End Muppet Contracts 18: Moving into Place.