Curios & Conundrums Codex

Lot #922: The Cherub, the Chariot, and the Egg Chair Solution

As mysterious as it may be, some truths of time travel are known to me. The Law of Temporal Displacement requires me to return to the future with roughly as much mass as the sphere had displaced, or scooped out of the farmer’s field, which meant I needed to return with something around the size of a head of veal. As I tore across the field towards the crater with Rasputin’s zombie giving chase, I hatched a plan, but my timing would have to be impeccable.

I sat there huddled in the shallow crater as the irate and undead Rasputin approached. I tapped my wrist and watched the digits countdown, mouthing each number to get a lock on the sphere’s timing. The evil zombie Rasputin arrived and planted his feet defiantly at the edge of the crater, affording me an unfortunate view straight up his robe. Trying to shake the sight of the Mad Monk’s Boney M, I leaped up and grabbed the vial around his neck, pulling him down by the scratchy twine until his cadaverous face was a hair’s breadth from my own. For the briefest second, I could feel the foul air from his dusty lungs penetrate into my nose and mouth, and could see the flecks of frothy spittle dotting his desiccated lips. If my timing was right, my plan would work; if my timing was off, I was about to be eaten. At that very instant, the sphere arrived.

As the sphere blinked into existence, it trapped Rasputin’s outstretched head inside it and snicked it off cleanly. With a whisper, the fields vanished along with the sphere, and I was back on the floor of the Ready Room. Rasputin’s head fell from its position in mid-air, hitting the floor in front of me with a dry crack.

Boss Teegan stared at me wide-eyed from behind her protective barrier. “Another severed head, Musick?” she asked incredulously. “We’ve only just finished cleaning up the first one.”

“Keep an eye on this one,” I replied, “or it’s liable to come back and bite you.”

“Do you have it?” she asked greedily.

No “how was your trip?” or “what bloodcurdling abomination was trying to grab you just then?” With a sigh, I held aloft my prize. “Cherub with chariot,” I announced. “One of the lost Fabergé eggs custom-crafted for Empress Alexandra the last Tsarina of Russia. Found in the funky front room of her long-lived advisor Grigori Rasputin, and at my considerable peril, I might add. You know, if you want these trips to go more smoothly, I would greatly benefit from some sort of preliminary briefing to inform me…”

“The serum, Musick. Where is the serum?” she interrupted.

“The…”

“The serum!” she screamed. “It was the most valuable thing in the farmhouse!”

“And it’s not…?” I looked down at the beautifully detailed egg.

Boss Teegan threw her hands up and growled with exasperation. “Guards!” she bellowed. As she turned away, I covertly pocketed the glass vial that was still clenched tightly in my fist.

The door of the Ready Room whirred open, and for the second time that day, evil hands gripped me and pulled me unwillingly to my feet.

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