Betsy Visits River City.
It took Betsy more than a day to get there. She had to use Shank’s pony because there was no transport anywhere. And, the powers that be had activated the guard to stop looters and other riff raff in the centre of the city and the centre of the city was on Betsy’s direct route to the castle. Those weirdos were also there in force, flying around and trying to keep order and justice and the American way. What about the British way? It was far better. Betsy wasn’t in a good mood when she finally arrived. The equipment she pulled on her cart was beginning to get heavy.
She was stopped momentarily at the wood that surrounded the property after discovering it was filled with sensors to detect people like her. She stashed her cart in a hidey hole in the middle and only took her backpack the rest of the way.
She entered the castle by her normal method of climbing to the top and entering from there. There were no guards or sensors anywhere. Betsy worried about that. She had paused among the crenellations remembering another time she was in such a place, but in Scotland. She wished afterwards they had done it in a normal house as carpet burns would have been much more acceptable.
Anyway, enough of the fond memories. She focused. Based on yesterday’s debacle, she tightened her focus, despite the energy drain, until absolutely nothing could escape her. She detected nothing. That meant there was nobody on this level and nobody within a couple of floors either. Good. But she couldn’t detect anyone further away.
She thought for a moment. If there was nobody to see her, she could use her Jacobson’s organ. It was one of the things she thought of while training and kept secret. It was easy to reinstate as it was only dormant in humans and she only had to excite it to get it working again. She didn’t like doing it though. It wasn’t subtle but gave her a multitude of information all at once and she had to make sense of it all. But, this one should be OK as all she was after was the presence of humans and that’s basically what it was for. Betsy could detect people of either sex with it, even if they were not actively seeking sex at that moment. She discovered, during training, she could also detect various animals as well, even if sex definitely wasn’t on the menu.
But she also didn’t like doing this because of the face she had to make while collection the information, but there was no one here, so no one could see her. Even so, she found it embarrassing doing this. She looked like she was first in a world class gurning competition.
So she twisted her face, opened her mouth and sucked in air over her Jacobson’s organ. It didn’t take long. She immediately knew she was correct and there was no one here on these levels. She quickly tried to forget the rest. She didn’t want to know how many ants had passed in the past week. She especially didn’t want to know how many rats there were here. She didn’t like rats. Nor mice. Then she remembered. This country had snakes as well. Proper poisonous ones. She really didn’t want to know about them. They would surely hide from her, like the rats. Wouldn’t they? Then she remembered they rattled when people were close. Good. She’d back away if she heard rattling.
She worried about the lack of sensors. Or, was it she couldn’t detect the sensors that were there? She worried about that as well. She wondered why she was doing this. OK, Vicky was a friend and friends help one another. She knew that. But it had been too dark for Vicky to recognise her and surely Vicky couldn’t recognise her mind from that probe she must have done, so that point didn’t count, did it? She could just walk away and still be friends with Vicky. If Vicky came through this, that is. But she would. That’s a given, given Vicky’s abilities. She would be fine, in the end.
She worried about Loki’s involvement. What the hell was He up to? Surely He had better things to do with his life. He wasn’t eternal, but he’d already been around, one way or another, for a few millennia and wasn’t going away soon. But, why wasn’t He eliminating cancer? Why wasn’t He eliminating war? A lot more such questions wound their way through her brain at this point. Loki answered none of them. Why didn’t He answer? She was Loki’s child after all, wasn’t she? That means Loki’s her dad. And dads help their kids, don’t they? Her other dad did. He did until he died. Betsy wiped a tear away at the thought of her proper dad. He was a proper dad. Loki wasn’t. She wondered how she could undo her bonding to Loki. She didn’t know how to do that. But ‘She’ would know. All Betsy had to do was ask. But that would be too embarrassing. That meant she had made a mistake and couldn’t take the consequences, didn’t it? And she never did that, did she?
The upshot of all this introspection was the decision that introspection was bullshit and she should be careful in there.
She was careful in there. There were numerous floors and not one of them was defended in any way. She detected people populating the lower floors, so Betsy used her knowledge of castles to seek out the servant’s stairways. Those were usually decrepit and not fit for proper people, so, even in modern times they weren’t usually used. There should be a secret passage or three knocking about as well, but Betsy didn’t want to spend the time looking for those. They usually went from bedchamber to bedchamber anyway. They were randy buggers, back in the day.
Betsy carefully made her way down past the ground floor to the lower levels. ‘This must have cost some serious cash,’ she thought as she went. She sensed the people on the ground floor and the first floor, but didn’t sense any danger. In fact, all she detected from them was they all had sex on their minds. But that degree of information wasn’t reliable enough at this range, so she was tense and wary, but she encountered no one and no sensors either. ‘What kind of mad scientist genius doesn’t even protect his property?’ she pondered as she slowly wound her way downwards.
She was specifically probing for Vicky and she detected her from the fourth floor below ground. Vicky was on the floor below. There were other people with her, or, at least, in her vicinity. The other below ground floors were unoccupied. Betsy also detected that robot thing there as well, but it wasn’t making much mental activity at all. ‘It must be switched off or something’, she assumed.
Eventually, she stood just outside a door that led into the floor proper. She waited. The descent had been tense and she had used a significant amount of her energy reserves with her mental scanning. Knowing who was where could be a great advantage, but there was a cost. It made her tired and jittery. Deciding she was safe here, well as safe as she could be deep under a mediaeval castle in the middle of the USA where no such castles existed, with a slew of baddies also inhabiting the castle and one of those baddies is unethically rich and an evil genius to boot. ‘I’m hungry,’ she realised. Well, she had used a lot on mental energy just getting here, hadn’t she?
Before she did anything, she sprayed a lubricant into the door’s lock and onto its hinges. Then, she squatted down and removed the haversack she was carrying. Opening it, she delved into the interior, eventually finding the food she had prepared, just in case. So, she munched on her, well, she supposed dinner was the proper term. Or lunch. Vicky would say lunch and she would say dinner. Of course, Vicky was wrong. Vicky was from Essex, after all. She finished her meal, had a cup of tea from her flask—she didn’t like tea from a flask, but even that was better than the tea in this country. She hadn’t actually drunk tea made the American way but she still knew it was rubbish. It had to be. Hers was made from proper British tea and proper British water.
Then she had a snooze for a couple of hours. She activated the defence centre of her brain while sleeping to protect herself. Normally, this would be too expensive in energy, but she had just eaten and she had more food for after. So, she slept peacefully.
On awakening, she had a snack and decided what to do next. Go into the evil lair of the evil mad scientist who’s as rich as anyone on the planet, or go back and wait the storm out. After all, what could Loki actually do? Suddenly the atmosphere changed and all the hairs on her body stood up, especially her pubic hairs which immediately made the skin around them incredibly itchy. She had to scratch herself and was well into a deep and satisfying double handed scratch when her phone played the creepy music again, despite it being turned off. She hurriedly accepted the text while scratching furiously with just one hand. It was, obviously, from Loki.
Is that a good enough example?
“OK, OK”, turn off that bloody field or whatever it is your using”, she quietly shouted at the thin air.
The field turned off.
All the hair on her body dropped back to quiescence. Her pubic area still itched like buggery.
“I really must get meself a proper God,” she muttered to herself as she packed her things away. Betsy wasn’t a litterbug. “Or, better yet, a Goddess. Yes, a Goddess wouldn’t be into all this shite. It’d be sweetness and light and love and peace all the way. All I’ll have to do is sit back and love meself.”
Her mobile played the creepy music again. She hurriedly accepted the text.
“LOL. Remind me to introduce you to Inanna some time”.
Betsy knew all about Inanna. “No thanks,” she muttered and deleted the text. Or she tried to. They still wouldn’t do as they were told. She decided to get herself another mobile and another number when she got out of this. Maybe that would stop him.
Angrily muttering to herself she picked the lock on the door and carefully opened it.
The door opened quietly into a darkened room. She scanned it and gave it a quick, energy conserving, mental probe. Nothing. She stepped in, closing the door carefully behind her. She left it unlocked. There was nothing like an unlocked door in case she had to run. From the state of the lock and the hinges, it hadn’t been touched for years, so it should be safe from detection.
She stood there for a few minutes, waiting for her eyes to adjust. There was no one here, so that was safe enough. Once acclimatised, she walked carefully to the door on the far side.