Part 13: Treasure Mountain! ending
I got the phone call this morning. Our Expert Super Solver called in sick, and I was next in the Organization's ranks. Funny how that works - experts and kids right next to each other in the rankings. The Organization works in weird ways.
Then again, we have weird jobs.
For example, most temps don't get a call in the morning and think "Huh. I'd better be prepared to take a tumble down a three-story slide today". Yet this is exactly the position I found myself in come late afternoon.
To be perfectly honest, though, I wasn't ready to take on Morty yet. I could get under his skin, but even our Expert couldn't do it... Yet.
The Expert's notes got me up this far, but the last few steps were up to me.
The land up here was more treacherous - and beautiful - then his reports belied. Sure, a tunnel full of gems is useful - but it also contained a nice quick shortcut to the bottom of the mountain. Seemed like the mountain had a lot of shortcuts like that.
The Expert's report about the castle scared the crap out of me, though. Supposedly Morty had installed a few defense mechanisms to knock explorers off the ladders.
Once inside, though, I realized that the reports were just flat out wrong - no trick ladders that led to the wrong places, no armholes for Morty to reach through and knock us over in. No sense of interior decorating, either.
That's the thing about experts, though. They have to go through a lot of shit that rookies don't even see. It's a natural progression in the organization.
You start out, you think that schools disappearing and paintbrush robots are weird.
Then, you start gaining some experience. Suddenly, those things aren't the weird thing anymore.
The weird thing increasingly becomes that you start noticing things changing around you. Not suddenly, but when you've walked the same beat in a television station or school a score of times, your opponents get faster. Your clues become more cryptic. The routes you trust change and crumble underneath you. But then you get assigned a rookie to tail you, and he thinks everything is easy as peachy-keen pie. He doesn't see the mischief minions as often, he can afford to move slower, he can solve problems that stump you for hours. It's why the Organization exists - because sometimes reality just isn't real.
For example, Morty's precarious perch.
The magic in this place made it seem like everything should be easy - like taking this wand and using it to blast Morty off his tower. But the magic had its own ideas - it needed the treasure back before it could get rid of Morty.
I was just a pawn. A pawn of the mountain, the Organization, hell, even Morty probably has some reason for watching me take him down like that. Maybe that's what he needs, a little kick in the ass to get him to start building up some other scheme. Maybe one day, we'll stop his last scheme, relax a little bit too much, and his legacy will creep up and take us all by surprise.
Who will be able to stop it when that happens?
I can't answer that. I can only take a trophy of a minor victory over Morty
And hope to die another day.