The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.
He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.
Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?
On the other side of the Gateway, the mighty superhero, Hephaestus, was fighting with the woman of his dreams.
“I still think we should follow the doctor,” complained Hephaestus, adjusting his tool belt over his orange work apron. He wished he had been able to get his glove back from Snap before they started monitoring the Gateway again, but of course the safety of the multi-verse took priority. It’s just… he felt silly wearing only one red silk glove. Adjusting his hard hat and goggles once more, he tried to look intimidating. “Remember, the doctor is the real villain here. The cat may be a connection, but-”
“Everything is tied up with that stupid cat,” said Snap. “Besides his obsessing over the damn thing. I mean, we can’t stop the progression of his…” She sighed in resignation. “We can’t stop the progression of his zombification unless we have more data. If he keeps slipping through tears in reality, each new universe he falls into is potentially at risk of infection. And if he dies-” She choked a bit, but rallied. “If he dies, and all the lore is true, it won’t be long until that world experiences an apocalypse-”
“What about our world?” asked the super.
“If we bring him to our world -his home universe, it should stop him falling. But the problem is containment. How do we bring him back without risk of infecting ourselves and our world?”
“But if we don’t bring him back,” pointed out Hephaestus, “he’ll keep falling,right?”
“Almost definitely,” said Snap, “risking each new world he encounters.”
“Then, again, I have to ask,” said Hephaestus, “why are we following the cat?”
“Have you noticed the connection between all the alternate universes?” said Snap.
“Well, I…” Hephaestus looked uncomfortable. “I mean, it’s not particularly scientific, but… um.”
“They all have a ‘supernatural’ element to them,” said Snap.
“Well, first the cat went to the mummy show, there were vampires and some ghostly limbs, for goodness’ sake!” said Hephaestus.
“Hauntings, yes,” said Snap.
Hephaestus shuddered. “Creepy.”
Snap raised one eyebrow and peered at the hero through her thick-rimmed spectacles. “Yes, very astute. But I’m formulating a hypothesis based on the common elements we observed in the worlds that both Portage, the other woman, and Mrs. Bumblefrost traveled to.”
“Isn’t it poor grammar to end a sentence with a preposition?” asked Hephaestus.
Now the other eyebrow raised, but Snap looked a bit impressed. “Actually, that’s a common misconception,” she said, “though I’m surprised you would take notice of such minutiae in the current circumstances.”
“Well, grammar is important,” said Hephaestus. “I mean, I may have taken my superhero name from the god of the forge, but he was also a craftsman. And I’ve always wanted to be a word smith.” He grinned. “Blacksmith… word smith? Get it? God of the forge and all that?”
“Yes, clever wordplay,” said Snap, returning his smile. “But back to the point, Mrs. Bumblefrost seems to be – for lack of a better word, Mr. Wordsmith – ‘attracted’ to supernatural phenomena.”
“Like a magnet?”
Snap paused to give the super an indecipherable look, sighed, then continued. “But then Portage, I mean Doctor McPeeve, also experienced such phenomena when he fell… first to the-” She sighed, “-the zombie world.” She cleared her throat. “And then he fell to Hades.”
“Well, technically,” said Hephaestus, “just the outskirts, you know, on the outer part of the Styx where souls wait to catch the ferry-”
“Luckily, he didn’t fall too near the dock,” observed Snap, chewing her ponytails again. “Who knows what those creatures-”
“You know who they must be; right?” interrupted Hephaestus.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Because they were talking about taking a boat across-” continued Hephaestus.
“Yes, I know that-”
“And that one guy had just hand-bones instead of a flesh-and-blood hand and-”
“YES, I KNOW,” said Snap. “Sorry,” she added when she saw the hero’s dismayed expression. “But the point is that all the ‘supernatural’creatures that saw the cat seemed frightened or unsettled by it.”
“That’s not necessarily true,” said Hephaestus. “What about the ghost-limbs?”
“Well, Mrs. Bumblefrost didn’t stumble into the room with that particular haunting until after the ghosts had, uh…eliminated their host.”
“Lucky kitty,” observed the super.
“Perhaps,” said Snap. Her eyes wandered towards the portal as she recalled who had given Portage his adored pet. No, I can’t possibly trust him, she thought, though her spoken response was, “We need more data, which means more observation-”
“-of the kitten?”
“Yes, because most of the supernatural creatures have shown an aversion or at least discomfort in her presence. Whether it’s because they have an aversion to felines in general or Mrs. Bumblefrost in particular – something I utterly sympathize with, we need to figure it out. We might be able to use the data to help Portage.”
“What if we can’t?” asked the super. He put his bare hand upon Snap’s and looked into her eyes. “What do we do then?”
“I don’t know,” confessed Snap. “Maybe pray to those gods of yours that you’re always referring to.” She smiled wanly. “I’ve always been a bit of a mythology buff.”
“After what we’ve seen,” said Hephaestus, “maybe you should stop thinking of them as myths.”
**All episodes listed here.
**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.