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Going, going, gone!

25 February

Quiet day today. The Monkey has been pacing about with impatience. He wants to go to the auction house, but we have to wait until tomorrow and it’s driving him nuts. I have been trying to do some work and he has been vindictively sabotaging the nerds to pass the time. I feared one or both of them might die as he set up trip wires, balanced heavy things on the top of doors and generally made a nuisance of himself. The nerds laughed good humouredly and did their best to avoid the booby traps with the minimum of blood loss – to be honest they are more than a little scared of The Monkey and I think they fell over a couple of times just to keep him happy.

He is now in front of the TV with a bottle of Jack and a cigar watching ‘Allo, ‘Allo. He hasn’t got a clue what’s going on but keeps making little grunty amused noises and I don’t think he has lowered his eyebrows for the last half hour…

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26 February

The Monkey couldn’t wait to get to the auction house today so consequently we were there 45 minutes early and then I had to sit in the car with him while he fidgeted. Eventually they opened up and we went inside and found someone who looked like they might be able to help. After explaining what we wanted they said they didn’t normally give out client’s details but because we were after background on a specific piece we had brought they were willing to help. There then followed a half hour wait as they hunted through records and finally they came up with the goods – but they said that they would phone the client first to make sure that she was okay with us being given her info. So, another wait while they went off and did that. I could tell that The Monkey wasn’t going to take it lying down if we were told no and I asked him if he wanted me to go and start the car for a quick getaway. He called me an idiot and then was just in the middle of telling me that actually it might be a good idea when the man came back and said that the lady had agreed to see us and then he gave us a post-it note with the address written on it. So, we pointed the car in the direction of Totnes and set off.

After getting lost several times and reversing down a very narrow farm track for about a mile we finally found the house, a big, rambling place that had seen better days. Having rung the bell I was waiting for a warty old butler to answer the door but instead a mousey middle-aged woman appeared and said that her aunt was waiting for us in the drawing room. She led us to the door and then left us to go in. The Monkey stared around the room suspiciously and asked me where the ‘drawings’ were, I said I would tell him later. Waiting for us was the seller of the collection. She greeted us with a degree of suspicion and when we asked her if she had any information on the pendant she stared at The Monkey for a long while and then slowly nodded her head.    
 
She was an old lady and in need of the money that the collection fetched in order to help with the upkeep of the house. Apparently, her husband had taken himself off to remote corners of the world in search of occult artefacts and any slight rumour had been enough to set him off leaving his long suffering wife to raise two children and manage the house. In the early 1970’s he had heard tales of occult treasures in Cambodia and despite the war going on in Vietnam he managed to get himself smuggled into the country and come out again with a small collection of esoteric objects. One of these was the monkey pendant. Many of the other pieces were far more valuable and complex but the pendant had fascinated him. One of the reasons, his wife said, was because it was carved from Moldovite, a substance like green molten glass that is believed by some to be the result of an impact between a meteorite and the earth. But Moldovite is only found in one place in the Czech Republic and is almost never carved so the pendants presence in Cambodia and its decoration had thrown her husband into a frenzy of research. The link with Moldovite to all manner of mystical power and a belief by some that it was the material of the Holy Grail had resulted in almost thirty years of obsession. In his later years her husband had become reclusive and after his children left home he spent most of his time in one or two rooms in a wing of the house. One morning as they sat having breakfast (one of the few times in the day she saw him) he suddenly fell face first into his porridge and was pronounced dead of a brain haemorrhage by the coroner. She had no love for his occult obsessions and had quickly sold off the books and manuscripts that had filled his rooms. When she realised that there were ready buyers for this type of stuff she moved on to the charms and other paraphernalia which included a large collection of crystals and the pendant. The Monkey asked her if she had any idea where in Cambodia he had obtained the pendant but she just shook her head. ‘Had he left any journals?’ The Monkey asked. Oh yes, she replied but she had burnt them in a fit of pique, blaming her husband’s obsession on the loneliness of her marriage and his subsequent death. At this point I thought The Monkey might be about to kill or at the very least fling shit about, so I thanked her very much for her time and we headed for the door. 

The Monkey sat and fumed on the way back and when we got home he disappeared into the back garden and threw knives and axes at a tree stump for an hour before coming back in and punching Tony in the balls. He has now gone up onto the roof to smoke and glare at the world…

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27 February

Amazing! Found Kev playing with the lolly sticks on the kitchen table. He was putting the symbols that matched on the end of the sticks together and after doing that for a short while he began to cross the sticks so that the symbols still touched but he could then join them up with other symbols. He looked a bit confused for a moment and then began to make a second pile of crossed symbols until he had two seven-pointed star shapes. At this point Tony came in carrying a laptop and something on the end of a long coil of cable. He stopped by Kev and watched over his shoulder. ‘Can you weave them together then the ends would still touch and they wouldn’t fall apart?’ he volunteered. Kev nodded enthusiastically and began to dismantle his creations and re make them by overlapping the sticks. Then The Monkey came in and gave me a look that said ‘And why are they touching those?’ but I held up my hand and signalled him to watch. After a few minutes Kev had constructed two seven pointed stars that didn’t fall to bits when he held them up. But the really odd thing was that when he brought them close together they repelled each other like the same poles of two magnets and the omnipresent electromagnetic field detector on Tony’s bat utility belt went ape shit…  
             
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I have been having some curious black windows pop up on the laptop for the past week. I hadn’t worried about them because they appeared and disappeared so rapidly I thought it was just some background processes kicking off when the laptop was booted up, and there is very good anti-virus software loaded so I figured it was not an issue. But this morning I asked Tony to switch it on as he was walking past, and he stopped dead and said ‘Ah fuck. You have been hacked.’

Tony and Kev spent the rest of the day recovering as much as they could from the laptop, but they say that we either need to bin it or reformat it completely as whoever has gained access has been using the camera and microphone to spy on us and has been cloning what is on the screen. The Monkey asked how that is possible as we run decent security software, but the Nerds just shrugged and said that it if someone really wants in and you give them a way then etc. etc… I told them that I had only noticed it about a week ago and The Monkey looked at me and grabbed the laptop and said ‘Mutha fucker!’. He opened up a folder he had created for stuff he had saved from his chats online and then showed us a JPG that had been sent to him by Snakebite. It was an advert for a gun range in Vegas and featured a well-endowed blonde in a bikini holding two machine guns at a jaunty angle. There was a QR code in the bottom right corner for you to scan for extra information. Kev pointed his phone camera at it and suddenly we were on the laptop screen in all our confused glory…

Kev has run the JPG through some software, and it seems that the image contains a shit load of hidden code that basically provided a backdoor into our computer. The Monkey wants to keep up the pretence of not being aware of it but the Nerds reckon that we have already given the game away and the best course of action is to bin the laptop – just in case. Great, now we need to worry about who the fuck ‘Snakebite’ is and what we might have given away…   

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28 February

A long cardboard tube turned up in the post today for The Monkey. I handed it over to him and after popping the cap on one end he produced several rolled-up maps. I looked over his shoulder as he unravelled them – Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The pendant has raised questions that The Monkey is going to want answers to… 

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1 March

Working on one of the nerd’s spare laptops we did research on seven pointed stars today or septagrams/heptagrams as they are called. Loads of stuff about alchemy, occult groups, druids, Knights Templar, sheriff’s badges and flags but nothing about two wooden stars made of lolly sticks that repulse each other and cause the black hole in our spare room to flare and pulse alarmingly if brought anywhere near it.

We are currently sitting in the living room drinking 1979 Colheita port and eating cheese and onion crisps because we have no Stilton and have run out of cheese of any sort. The Monkey says it could have been worse, we could have only had Dairylea Dunkers. I suppose he has a point… 

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2 March

Beautiful weather today so we had a day off from research and went for a walk on the cliffs. Kev and Tony came with us and we brought them ice creams. The Monkey has warmed to them slightly after they managed to assemble the stars and identify that we had been hacked, and I felt confident that he would not try and ‘accidentally’ push one over the edge. They are not bad lads and their constant chatter about Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer etc. is actually quite amusing. They are both obviously highly intelligent, they just have underdeveloped social skills from mixing within the same social group since they were teenagers. Even The Monkey has begun to find their conversations and arguments funny and will often drop something contentious into the mix to set them off. He says he wants to get then really really drunk or stoned or both and see what happens. Actually, I would like to see that as well.

The nerds have said that the other member of their troop is feeling well enough to return so we could soon have a third nerd working for us. Have to hope that he doesn’t get flashbacks…

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Odd news report on the Internet today. Seems that a some pagan goth sorts up in Nottingham have been arrested for the cannibalism of newly buried bodies which they have been digging up. The photos of the three looked familiar and I showed them to The Monkey which made him laugh outrageously. He thinks it’s the losers that the Monster Highs bit when we were up at the party in Nottingham. I think he may be right in which case the Monster Highs are contagious. Have to make sure they don’t bite during sex or we could end up snacking on ‘mortuary takeaway’ as The Monkey put it. Have to add that to the list of things to ask them about that next time we see them…

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3 March

Woaw! Just seen one of the neighbours and he asked me if I had noticed any dodgy looking Orientals hanging around. At first I thought he was talking about our ‘visitors’ of the other week but he said there had been a car with three or four oriental men in it spotted around here over the last few days. I said that he was probably being a bit racist and that I hadn’t seen anything, and it was probably nothing. He reluctantly agreed but said that another neighbour had notified the police just in case. Fuck!

The Monkey says he is not too surprised, there was always a very strong chance they would come looking for their buddies, plus whatever is going on is doubtless bigger than three people. Guess I hadn’t considered that, I just wanted it to go away. The Monkey has fetched out his weapons and is talking about giving the nerds a crash course in combat principals. They look quite excited by the prospect but I think that is the enthusiasm of men who watch to many action movies, played too much COD, have run through too many heroic ‘what if’ scenarios in their heads, and have no experience of real fights. Anyway, I have asked Kev to dismantle the stars, they are going to be easier to hide if they are not bouncing away from each other, and we are convinced now that whoever these people are they want the stars…

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