When we last left Catch-666, Steve's party of British codebreaker Betty Nance, her gurkha bodyguard Gagan "Gags" Chhetri and US Army driver Walt Eckard were in quite a predicament. They arrived at Der Teufelsschanze, a remote German radio post high in the Alps, to assist the American force that captured the base, only to discover the Americans were all dead in a strange room inside a hatch beneath the base. Gags entered the room, was attacked by a lone crazed American and then before he could escape the room he witnessed strange patterns of light that apparently drove him insane. Betty and Walt escaped from the hatch and received an unusual radio transmission.
Zack: The radio transmission is, "This is Betty Nance. Listen to me very carefully, because I don't have much time. You must not open the hatch beneath this room. Whatever you do, do not open the hatch."
Steve: So the radio transmission is me?
Zack: The voice claims to be Betty Nance.
Steve: "Um, hello, this is Betty Nance calling for Betty Nance. You're a little bit late with the opening of the hatch thing."
Zack: There seems to be a very long lag between you. "Damn it all. Have you found Gruber?"
Steve: "Was he the crazy guy in the hatch?"
Zack: "No, no! Listen to me, Betty. You have to find Gruber. He's in the barracks. He says he can fix everything. But..."
Zack: You hear screaming and banging on the other end of the radio.
Zack: "Find Gruber! Tell him-" She screams and then it dissolves into static.
Steve: Did she just hear herself die?
Zack: Yeah, better make a sanity check. Just Betty.
Steve: Which she failed.
Zack: Betty's hearing fades into the sound of static on the radio. She is temporarily deaf.
Steve: How temporarily?
Zack: Five hours.
Steve: So the radio woman just went deaf. This is turning into one of those Cthulhu adventures.
I have raised over $300 participating in quilting bees for the American Quilting Bee Society so I think I deserve at least seven minutes of your time.
Ernest Cline, writer of Ready Player One, shares his newest poem.
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